CHOICE OF THE ELECT by Jean Giraudoux


by & translated by
Age Range: 1882 - 1944
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The first English translation of a willowy, somewhat mordant 1939 novel by the versatile French author (1882–1944) best known for such classic plays as Ondine and The Madwoman of Chaillot. Edmée is the wife of a French engineer living and working in southern California in the 1930s—and a “modern” woman beset by unspecified anxieties, who leaves her husband to pursue an equally unspecific quasi-religious quest, on which she drags along her precociously cynical eight-year-old daughter Claudie (easily the most credible and appealing character here). Edmée’s pilgrimage appears both arbitrary and clichéd, and she’s much too frail a vessel for the overload of intellection and meditation (including numerous literary and philosophical allusions—many perfectly agreeable and entertaining in themselves) with which Giradoux unaccountably burdens an otherwise undeveloped and uninteresting character.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8101-1924-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Northwestern Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2002