Henri Alain-Fournier: Le Grand Meaulnes (1913) Le Grand Meaulnes — translated as The Lost Domain or The Wanderer — is a magical fable of adolesence, erotic awakening and idealised desire. Narrated by 15-year-old François Seurel, it is the myth-like story of how his friend and hero Augustin Meaulnes, lost in a snowy country lane, stumbles upon a wonderful chateau and catches a glimpse of a beautiful girl — Yvonne de Galais — with whom he falls instantly in love. The rest of the novel relates Meaulnes’s attempts to find and claim his girl. But, sadly, this isn’t a fairytale and the characters have to grow up. According to legend, the novel is based on a fleeting encounter the author had in Paris with a beautiful girl called Yvonne, who was already engaged. Alain-Fournier died fighting on the frontline; he was only 27. Lisa Allardice Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis: Dom Casmurro (1899) The greatest novel by Brazil’s greatest writer. Machado de Assis, born in 1839, of mixed race, epileptic, a stammerer, who, despite early poverty, mastered French and English, translated Shakespeare and poured out stories, novels and poetry. This is the love story of Bento and Capitu, told in the… Read full this story
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