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Patrick Modiano Books In Order

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Publication Order of Occupation Trilogy Books

La Place de l'Étoile (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Night Watch (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ring Roads (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Night Rounds (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Villa Triste (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Family Record (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Missing Person (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Young Once (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Such Fine Boys (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Trace of Malice (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sundays in August (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Honeymoon (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
After the Circus (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of the Dark (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dora Bruder (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Little Jewel (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Paris Nocturne (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Café of Lost Youth (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Black Notebook (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Invisible Ink (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scene of the Crime (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Chapter Books

Catherine Certitude (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Sleep of Memory (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

Lacombe Lucien (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Patrick Modiano
Patrick Modiano is a French-language literary fiction author and playwright. Modiano is also the 2014 Literature Nobel Prize winner. Thanks to his writing, this author has many other big awards to his name. Modiano’s parents met in Paris in the second world war and began a secret relationship. Just like the circumstances surrounding his birth, Modiano’s early life was unique. The author grew up with an absent father and a Flemish-actress mother who often traveled for work. His younger brother died when still young, and this troubled Modiano for many years. Fortunately, the author overcame all his troubles and has managed to write some of the most thought-provoking and raw historical fiction pieces.

Dora Bruder
Dora Bruder tells the story of a girl by the same name and her life following the holocaust. The book starts with the author’s account of what motivated him to write about this teenage girl. It is in 1988 when Modiano stumbles on an ad in the Paris Soir journal edition of 1941. Placed by Dora Bruder’s parents, the advertisement in the personal columns reports about a 15-year-old Jewish girl who runs away from the Catholic school where she was being hidden. Modiano is curious to find more about this girl and possibly uncover the reason as to why Dora disappeared from the place where her safety was guaranteed right in the middle of the German reprisals.

The other official mention of Dora Bruder is on the list of deported prisoners from Auschwitz to Paris in 1942. With no further record of this girl, Modiano sets to uncover the truth, which takes him back to one of the most painful periods in history. The author gives a detailed account of his 10-year investigation and the pieces of information he collected from Dora’s remaining relatives and those who lived during the holocaust. Modiano’s writing reads like a meditation on the losses people suffered during this period, especially the Jews. Thousands of people were lost and with them an important part of history. Through writing about Dora’s life, Modiano also realizes that he must come to terms with the shadows of his troubled past.

The horrible irony in this story is that Dora had not been registered as a Jew by her parents. It was only when she disappeared that her parents are obliged to document her in the local police station. This book is not just about Dora. Modiano paints a picture of many people’s fate, young and old, French people who followed the law, but their lives were destroyed thanks to the war. The author’s writing is direct, and it criticizes the violence, suffering, and humiliation those affected by this war went through. Looking at Paris many years later, the contrast of what happened with the vibrant city characterized by refurbished buildings and their neutral hues is almost unbelievable.

Dora Bruder beautifully merges the past and the present. Modiano compares Dora’s life and his own, the neighborhoods they lived in, the rebellious phase they both went through, and the troubled relationship with their parents. While this book is just 140 pages, it may take you several hours to complete it. The story is quite deep, and you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself thinking about Dora and others like her who suffered during a senseless war. Sadly, most of these personal stories have faded from history. This can only mean that what we read in history books is a watered-down account of how things happened.

Honeymoon is an intense and haunting tale that parallels the life of Jean B. with that of Rigaud and Ingrid. Jean is a filmmaker who abandons his career and wife to stay in a Paris Hotel. In this hotel, he had met a refugee couple twenty years before, but the mystery of their lives still haunted him. It is hard to tell if Jean B. is in the wrong place at the wrong time or vice versa. However, when he decides to come to the same hotel two decades later, it is clear that there was more to that chance meeting that just a mere coincidence.

Milan in august can be uncomfortable. Most shops are often closed during this time of year, and the hotels have no guests. However, the hotel staff still talk about the woman who visited Milan in the sweltering heat of summer only to kill herself. How comes Jean was in Milan the same time Ingrid decided to kill herself? It is indeed odd that Jean booked in the same hotel as he was working to reconstruct another missing explorer’s final moments. Jean doesn’t go to Rio de Janeiro as planned. Instead, he goes back to Paris, where Ingrid and her husband Rigaud lived.

As Jean investigates Ingrid’s life, he is also looking back at his life and the person he was before. He remembers how things were different the two times he met Ingrid. The first time she was cool and strange, but she was much paler the second time around. While Jean lives with his wife Annette in Paris, he does his research in the poorer section of the city. He chooses to stay at the same places he and his wife visited when they had little money and before he became trapped, like everyone else, in capitalism. As Jean takes a deep look at Ingrid’s life and his journey, he avoids areas where he is likely to run into people who know him. What mystery does Jean unravel? Will trying to solve the mystery in Ingrid’s life helps Jean overcome his life challenges?
Modiano is known for his sparse yet fascinating tales, and Honeymoon is not any different. As much as you ink that you can read this book in a single sitting, it is highly likely that you will not. Instead, you are more likely to look into your life as you compare the character’s dilemmas with your own. If you are looking for an engaging read that you can get lost in, this book is a perfect choice.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Patrick Modiano

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