Pierre Michon’s Small Lives
was first published in French in 1984, and is now being republished by Archiplelago Books, a small press out of Brooklyn that specializes in publishing excellent translations of classic and contemporary world literature. About Michon, David Varno explains
The task set for Michon’s readers is particularly arduous; his writing is so illusory and dense. Perhaps more so than Proust’s (whose influence plays a significant role in the book’s narrative devices and is eventually discussed in the narrative itself), because Michon moves faster. Crucial facts of the narrator’s life are dealt with glancingly, as are points of French history and cultural tradition, such as folk songs and storieswhich make the reading even more difficult for non-Francophiles.
Maybe not for everyone, huh?