We invite you for a presentation and celebration of the definitive biography of the world’s most popular novel.
Putting a century of scholarship on one of the world’s most enduring popular novels into accessible, narrative form, David Bellos’s new approach to a classic of world literature is written for a wide general readership. Packed full of information about the book’s origins and later career on stage and screen, The Novel of the Century brings to life the extraordinary story of how Victor Hugo managed to write his novel of the downtrodden despite a revolution, a coup d’état, and political exile; how he pulled off the deal of the century to get it published; and how he set it on course to become the novel that epitomizes the grand sweep of history in the nineteenth century. This biography of a masterpiece also shows how and why the moral and social messages of Les Misérables are full of meaning for our time.
David Bellos is a well-known translator of modern French fiction and the author of several prize-winning biographies of French literary figures. His irreverent study of translation, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? has itself been translated into Korean, Spanish, German, and French. He teaches French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University and holds the rank of Officier des Arts et des Lettres.
This event is co-sponsored by Princeton University's Humanities Council