Staff Pick

Lèvres de pierre by Nancy Huston

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Lèvres de pierre by Nancy Huston

As she is traveling through Cambodia with her husband, the late philosopher Tsvetan Todorov, Nancy Huston becomes increasingly fascinated by the numerous similarities between her childhood and that of a young Cambodian boy named Saloth Sâr — who would later be known under his chosen name, Pol Pot.
Lèvres de pierre is the winding account of how their lives — against all historical, cultural, religious, and political odds — echo and intersect with each other.
Looking back on her solitude as a child and teenager, as well as her experience of being entirely subjected to someone else’s desire and approval, Nancy Huston boldly examines the unnerving parallels between her formative years as a Maoist and the decisive sojourn of Sâr in Paris. With her celebrated honesty and courage, Huston boldly recounts her own personal confrontation with the banality of evil: how one can always find a way to believe that the ends justify the means, and of how this in turn can lead one into profound horror.

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November 27, 2018