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Why is Victor Hugo’s epic novel, Les Misérables, one of the most widely read and adapted literary works of all time?

How did the masterpiece overcome a nearby coup d’état, threats of censorship and an author in political exile? In his new book, The Novel of the Century, author David Bellos takes an innovative approach to these questions. Bellos discusses the moral and social messages, ideals of justice of equality and the voice of the downtrodden that conquered the world in Hugo’s work of genius.

 

Brief Bio

David Bellos is Meredith Howland Pyne Professor of French Literature at Princeton, where he also directs the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He has written prize-winning biographies of the French writer Georges Perec, the film-maker Jacques Tati and the novelist and diplomat Romain Gary, and was short-listed for the LA Times Book Prize for Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything. But he began his career in the UK as a scholar of nineteenth-century France, and he returns to his original field in his new book on the life and times of Les Misérables.


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