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STORIES 1, 2, 3, 4 by Eugène Ionesco

STORIES 1, 2, 3, 4

By Eugène Ionesco (Author) , Etienne Delessert (Illustrator) , Etienne Delessert (Translator)

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-936365-51-7
Publisher: McSweeney's McMullens

Four affectionately playful father-daughter exchanges written by a mainstay of the Theatre of the Absurd, back in print (in a single volume, to boot) after decades as collectors’ items.

Newly translated by Delessert from the 2009 French edition, this gathering also features the first appearance of his illustrations paired to any English version of Story 3 and Story 4. Each tale starts in the same way—little Josette coaxes an early morning flight of fancy from her father, who in three of the four is bleary from a long night on the town—but then veers off in increasingly elaborate directions. By the final one, he is repeatedly sending her to “look” for him in various rooms of the apartment while he shaves and dresses in the bathroom. Delessert’s crowded, detail-rich pictures add period elements (a dial telephone, a yellow submarine with visible Beatle) to surreal assemblages of toys, plush and fantasy animals, red-capped mushrooms, psychedelic flowers and cozy close-up scenes of Josette with Papa and (more occasionally, as she is generally elsewhere until the very end) Mama.

Handsomely designed, more silly than existentially “absurd” and just the ticket for sharing on a parental lap. (jacketed in a fold-out poster) (Picture book. 6-8)