Translated fiction round-up: Compelling collection shifting between reality and fantasy

Reviews: Anne-Marie the Beauty, After the Sun, A Bookshop in Algiers, Things I Didn’t Throw Out and Falling is Like Flying

 The bookstore, Les Vraies Richesses, which published Albert Camus’ Nuptials, as well as other novels, in the 1930s. Photograph: Youcef Krache/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The bookstore, Les Vraies Richesses, which published Albert Camus’ Nuptials, as well as other novels, in the 1930s. Photograph: Youcef Krache/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

‘People say the happiest lives are the least eventful.” This is what Anne-Marie Mille thinks before she reflects on the kind of funeral urn she would like – a discreetly engraved elegant brass model.

Yasmina Reza’s Anne-Marie the Beauty, translated by Alison L Strayer (Seven Stories Press UK, 55pp, £9.99), is the French writer’s latest fiction to be published in English (after Babylon in 2018). The heroine is an ageing actor looking back 
on the events of a life played out in a stubbornly minor key. Moving from the provinces to Paris, she achieves moderate success in lesser-known companies but is sheltered from bitterness by a ready wit and an unyielding sense of self.

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