Monsieur Ouine ($40.00; paper $20.00; Mar. 30; 256 pp.; 0-8032-1304-2; paper 0-8032-6161-6): A new English translation,
based on the authoritative 1955 French edition of the 1943 masterpiece by the great novelist (1888–1948), best known for his
Diary of a Country Priest. Here, an elderly former professor, the eponymous Monsieur Ouine, who comes to live with a wealthy
village squire and his wife, and blithely destroys the lives of his hosts and a fatherless boy they take in, as well as their village's
secure sense of its own propriety and rectitude. This is a savage morality tale that depicts the dying of the landed aristocracy and
a wartorn civilization's larger "innocence" with sharp imagery, precise characterizations, and commanding intensity. All of
Bernanos's fiction ought to be available in English translation, and William Bush looks like the right man for the job.