The Use of Speech
Nathalie Sarraute


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In this reprint of a classic later work from French novelist Nathalie Sarraute, one finds a “delectably austere, beady-eyed book. . . . The phrases that give rise to the scenes or episodes are ordinary enough until Sarraute imagines for them a context which turns them from bland civilities into weapons of psychological warfare. Friends meet and converse, in a café or in the street, and are all sociability; except underneath, where the best of friends can be the most savage of opponents. Sarraute resorts sardonically to metaphor to indicate what words will not capture: the shameful and ineffable animosities that . . . imperil our urbanity” (The Times Literary Supplement).

Nathalie Sarraute (1900-1999) was the author of eleven novels, three works of criticism, a collection of plays, and an autobiography. She is most well known as one of the prime proponents, along with Alain Robbe-Grillet, Robert Pinget, and Claude Simon, of the Nouveau Roman. She won the International Prize for Literature in 1964 for her novel The Golden Fruits.

Gabriel Lovatt reviews Nathalie Sarraute’s THE USE OF SPEECH in Galatea Resurrects

Jordon Anderson on Nathalie Sarraute’s THE USE OF SPEECH in the Quarterly Conversation

The Use of Speech
Nathalie Sarraute
Translated by
Barbara Wright
$14.95, 160 pgs.
ISBN 978-1933996-18-9