The Waitress was New by Dominique FabreThe Waitress was New by Dominique Fabre

The Waitress was New

byDominique FabreTranslated byJordan Stump

Paperback | January 21, 2008

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Pierre is a veteran bartender in a café in the outskirts of Paris. He observes his customers as they come and go – the young man who drinks beer as he reads Primo Levi, the fellow who from time to time strips down and plunges into the nearby Seine, the few regulars who eat and drink there on credit – sizing them up with great accuracy and empathy. Pierre doesn’t look outside more than necessary; he prefers to let the world come to him. Soon, however, the café must close its doors, and Pierre finds himself at a loss. As we follow his stream of thoughts over three days, Pierre’s humanity and profound solitude both emerge. The Waitress Was New is a moving portrait of human anguish and weakness, of understated nobility and strength. Lire est un plaisir describes Dominique Fabre as a "magician of the everyday."
Dominique Fabre possesses a unique voice among contemporary French novelists. Focusing on the lives of individuals on the margins of society, his works combines somber, subdued realism with lyrical perception. In his own words, Fabre "believes in the possibility of showing you genuine beauty, genuine dignity and places or people that h...
Title:The Waitress was NewFormat:PaperbackDimensions:117 pages, 6.49 × 5.52 × 0.39 inPublished:January 21, 2008Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0977857697

ISBN - 13:9780977857692

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Read from the Book

The waitress was new here. She came out of the underpass and hurried down the sidewalk, very businesslike, keeping to herself, as tall as me even in flat-heeled shoes. Maybe forty years old? That’s not the kind of thing you can ask a lady. She had a sort of flesh-pink makeup on her eyelids, she must have spent a long time getting ready. I didn’t look too closely at her shoes, the way I usually do to size someone up, because I had a feeling she’d seen some rough times, and there was no point overdoing it. And I’ve seen some rough times too, I tell myself now and then, but I’m not even sure it’s true. The sky was all cloudy. Sometimes, on gray days like this, you can see why you’re here, in a café like Le Cercle. People come in to get out of the weather, they have a drink, and then they go on their way.

Editorial Reviews

"A slim, whisper of a book that speaks to aging, solitude and the need for human contact, it feels like a philosophy primer for the meaning of life. A short read with a long tail impact." — Monica Carter, Three PercentA tiny miracle like a perfect cup of coffee or just the right wine. . . . It’s a minor classic, a charming little book, a short account of ordinary goings-on in a French café that some highfalutin reader might call a deceptively detached exploration of the quotidian.  It’s the sort of book you can’t wait to find again, and for others to find it for the first time. —Daniel Handler (author of A Series of Unfortunate Events under pen name Lemony Snicket) The strong, intimate voice of this gentle, canny narrator continues to stay with us long after we reach the end of The Waitress Was New—what an engrossing, captivating tale, in Jordan Stump’s sensitive translation. —Lydia Davis For his U.S. debut, Fabre offers a poignantly funny, slender slice of a French waiter’s life . . . In his patient, deliberative layering, the details of Pierre’s quotidian life assume an affecting solidity and significance. —Publishers Weekly Simply and elegantly captures the dignity of a day’s work, the humanity of friendship and the loneliness of aging. —Kirkus Reviews A sweetly comic book, savored with tristesse, lightly renders feeling and profundity in the manner only the French can. —Reamy Jansen, Bloomsbury Review Fabre becomes the lyrical, compassionate spectator of all these infinitesimal, silent lives—our lives—as they move between leaving the suburban underground station and arriving home. It is a tiny fragment of life, simply told and yet touching in the extreme. When Fabre writes, he ‘really believes in the possibility of showing you genuine beauty, genuine dignity and places or people that have been somehow overlooked.’ Mission accomplished. —French Book News