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Lettre américaine
Marie Goudot

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s extraordinary life truly was worth a novel. The son of Puritans from Salem, Massachusetts, he was haunted by the idea of an ancestral curse. His stories and novels are set in a gloomy world where the shadow of the past is constantly overwhelming the present, and where filiation means suffering. His Scarlet Letter is considered to be one of the first Great American Novels. Having freed himself from the canons of European literature, he invented a new genre, provincial gothic.

Marie Goudot takes on this Massachusetts monument, leaving no dark stone unturned: a cheerless childhood, burdened by sickness and mourning; a complicated relationship with women; his feverish early writing and the grueling wait for success; the obsession with filiation and identity (his decision to add a W to his last name is far from frivolous); his ambiguous political associations and fierce, almost sensual attachment to Herman Melville. More than just a fictionalized biography, Lettre américaine is a poetical reinterpretation of a great author’s life and work, well-served by subtle language and a bold narrative structure.

A powerful novel imbued with poetry about one of the most fascinating figures in early nineteenth century American literature. Cleverly composed from the lives of Hawthorne and Melville, no prior knowledge of those writers’work is needed to enjoy Lettres américaines.

Lettre américaine -
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  • Publication date : 08/03/2018
  • Size : 12 x 18,2 cm, 256 p., 9,10 EUR €
  • ISBN 978-2-36914-453-3
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