Powerful, erotic, disturbing suspenseful novel set in Provence during World War Two, by acclaimed American author.
Day of the Bees is a darkly erotic story of obsessive love between a Picasso-like artist and his beautiful muse.
An American academic, researching the life of the most famous artist of the century and the mystery of why and how he abandoned the passionate relationship with his muse and lover during the war, finds a cache of letters in the woman’s house after her death.
The burningly passionate correspondence reveals the nature of their love and, eventually, the reason for their parting, and encompasses a taut Resistance storyline as well as a beautiful evocation of Provence – a harsher place than the tourist brochures or Peter Mayle portray.
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The narrator of Thomas Sanchez's fourth novel teaches art history in America, but he dreams of Europe--or more specifically, of Spain. The Professor (as he identifies himself) specialises in a Spanish painter of the 1940s, Francisco Zermano, to whom he has devoted a spate of scholarly articles. He also spends hours staring at the man's paintings, trying to imagine the stories behind them. This iconographic detective is particularly curious about one bit of recurrent imagery: the body of a beautiful woman, which is rumoured to belong to Louise Collard, the painter's muse.
As Day of the Bees opens, Louise has just died alone in a small provincial village, and the Professor rushes to France to learn more about her role in Zermano's life. There he finds a pile of correspondence--and a revelation. According to legend, the artist treated Louise cruelly and abandoned her. Yet the letters reveal a deep and doomed love, one which is forever shattered when Louise is raped by a platoon of enemy soldiers (whom she later describes in her letters as "bees", a wonderfully eerie motif). Zermano, already beaten with a tire iron, is forced to watch the entire event. Here Louise recalls how the rape ruined her life, and its paradoxical resemblance to the redemption of true erotic love:
I have discovered something unnerving--that a woman in sexual ecstasy with her man forgets all detail; when it's over she wants to return and explore this abyss that still makes her tremble. The same thing can happen when she is raped, but for a different reason. Where joy once deleted memory, horror now destroys it. In two acts in her life can a woman lose all consciousness: in the act of lovemaking, and in rape, its cruel parody.After discovering Louise's letters, many of them never sent, the Professor embarks on a search for the ageing Zermano, hoping to help set the record straight. In these chapters, the violent and tragic love story at the heart of Day of the Bees is nicely counterbalanced by an obsessive academic's comedy of errors. -- Emily White Review:
Praise for the author’s previous novels:
‘Beautiful, poetic, powerful’
‘Rare and wonderful’
‘May be the best of the home-front novels of World War II’
Los Angeles Times
‘A great novel of love, war and politics. Like A Farewell to Arms…’
Le Monde, Paris
‘Dazzling… a masterpiece’
New York Times
‘Mythmaking and magisterial’
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Book Description FLAMINGO, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Very Good. Ships from the UK within 24 hours. Number of pages: 384. Condition: Very Good. May show some slight signs of wear. Bookseller Inventory # BBI84620
Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Book Condition: Good. This is an ex-library book and may have the usual library/used-book markings inside.This book has hardback covers. In good all round condition. Dust Jacket in good condition. Bookseller Inventory # 4859020
Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Best quality EX-LIBRARY copy, may have some stamps, marks etc Another Croaking bargain from the Frog !!!. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001499154
Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service âÄ" all orders are dispatched next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000439262
Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Showing some signs of wear. Corners/cover slightly bumped/creased. Dispatched by next working day from Hereford, UK. We can now offer First Class Delivery for UK orders received before 12 noon, with same-day dispatch (Monday-Friday) not including Bank Holidays . Bookseller Inventory # mon0000337761
Book Description Flamingo, London, 2001. Hardback. 1st Edition. Octavo Size. Very Good in Very Good Dustjacket. DJ protected in plastic cover. 279 pages Inspired by the true-life stories of two women living in Provence during World War Two. Bookseller Inventory # 242433
Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Gebundene Ausgabe. Sehr schönes, innen wie außen sauberes Exemplar. Gelesene Ausgabe in hervorragendem Zustand. Seiten sind intakt und weisen weder Notizen noch Unterstreichungen auf. Der Buchrücken zeigt keinerlei Knicke oder andere Gebrauchsspuren. Alle Preise inkl. MwSt. - Ihr Versandantiquariat Der-Philo-soph, der Online-Händler mit der schnellen Lieferung! An Werktagen versandfertig innerhalb 24 Stunden! 384 S. Deutsch 999g. Bookseller Inventory # 657232
Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. This is an as new signed, first edition, first impression hardback in an as new dust wrapper. There are no marks or inscriptions of any kind. The only writing is the authorís bold signature to the title page. The text block is tight, white and square. The brown boards are pristine as is the silver lettering to the spine. The unclipped dust wrapper is crisp and complete with the colours remaining vibrant. The original price of £16.99 remains. The dust wrapper is now protected by a removable, acid free acetate sleeve. The book presents as new. This is a quite brilliant novel from an author and Guggenheim Fellow who began his career writing a cowboy western (and a good one at that!). This work of passion, remorse and deadly secrets, set against the backdrop of German occupied Paris takes Mr Thomasís third novel to new levels of excellence. In this quite lovely condition, this worthy book will be a admirable addition to any library or collection. The images you see are high resolution scans of the actual book you will receive. It will be dispatched via The Royal Mail in protective packaging. We do not charge postage to buyers within the UK. We offer a 7 day no quibble full refund if the item is not as described and shown. Extra scans are available on request. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 1698
Book Description FLAMINGO, 2001. Book Condition: very good. Gently used. Expect delivery in 20 days. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007104000-3