Books

A Family Affair

A Family Affair is a novel written by Nadine Bismuth and translated by Russell Smith.

Nadine Bismuth, translated by Russell Smith

In A Family Affair, love is the first casualty and deceit — towards others, towards oneself — the norm.

Kitchen designer Magalie is being cheated on and so cheats in turn, in the office and with a divorced policeman who has hired her. Her partner, Mathieu, has no idea how to be, and the policeman Guillaume has no idea what he wants. So begins a story of messy relationships wrested against the odds from the detritus of failed marriages, the demands of professional lives, and the pull of the Internet and its false messages of perfection.

With an assiduous eye that is both clinical and sympathetic, Bismuth's elegant and highly readable novel captures the alienating nature of contemporary life and sheds light on this, our strange new world full of unrequited yearning in a sea of seeming plenty. (From House of Anansi Press)

The French edition, Un lien familial, won Radio-Canada's Combat national des livres in 2020.

Nadine Bismuth is a writer from Montreal. She has published novels and short story collections. Her 2004 novel Scrapbook was translated into English in 2009. Her 2009 short story collection Êtes-vous mariée à un psychopathe was shortlisted for the Govenor General's Literary Award for French-language fiction and was translated into English in 2010.

Russell Smith is a writer, journalist and translator. His books include the novels Confidence and Girl Crazy and the memoir Blindsided. A Family Affair, is his first book-length translation.

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