The Lemoine Affair by Marcel Proust, newly translated from the French, is a puzzle of a book—or so I gather from its description. It’s a novella, a series of essays—pastiches—about an early 20th-century con-artist scandal, but as told in the differing styles of Balzac, Flaubert, Saint-Simon and other French writers.

Got that? It’s as if a current-day author published a historical account as told by well-known authors of the past. Fiction upon fiction upon fact.


Proust, of course, is well known for Remembrance of Things Past (or In Search of Lost Time). If I were clever, I’m sure I could come up with a better title for The Lemoine Affair, something along the lines of In Search of Lost Remembrances by Past Authors. Suggestions welcome!

“A delicious little bonbon,” to quote one review. Irresistible, I’d say. And possibly a fun sort of exercise for a writer to play with, I think.

Amazon link to The Lemoine Affair:
Sandra Gulland’s website:
Sandra Gulland’s blog: