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A voyage of literary discovery: Clara Reads Proust, by Stéphane Carlier, reviewed

A 23-year-old hairdresser casually picks up a copy of Swann’s Way left behind by a client – only to find the novel taking over her life

23 March 2024

9:00 AM

23 March 2024

9:00 AM

Clara Reads Proust Stéphane Carlier, translated by Polly Mackintosh

Gallic, pp.192, 9.99

Should Alain de Botton ever require fictional evidence of ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’, he could do worse than to turn to Clara, the protagonist of Stéphane Carlier’s latest delightful novel. Clara is a hairdresser in a rather rundown provincial salon in France. She has a good relationship with her boss, Madame Habib, her colleagues, Nolwenn and Patrick, and her loyal clientele, and a more vexed one with JB, her boyfriend of three years, a muscular firefighter who resembles Flynn Ryder in the Disney cartoon.

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