The Alphonse Courrier Affair by Marta Morazzoni

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The Independent Culture

Morazzoni, A high-school teacher from Milan, won both Italy's Campiello Prize and our Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for this short and very sweet tale of secrets and lies in the Auvergne countryside of the 1900s. Behind the spotless order of M. Courrier's family life lurk adultery, jealousy and guilt, in an ominous brew that must boil into tragedy. Yet this is also a slyly comic novel of provincial manners; rather as if Alan Bennett revised Thomas Hardy. It's impeccably translated by Emma Rose.