‘Ravel’ Exquisitely Details Titular Composer’s Final Days

Jean Echenoz’s novel, latest winner of the French-American and Florence Gould foundations prize for Linda Coverdale’s translation, evokes the last days of French composer Maurice Ravel, as he crosses the Atlantic and embarks on an American concert tour. Echenoz shows an impressive amount of research into Ravel’s life — his dress alone is described in exacting detail — but he wears his erudition lightly, and Ravel is finally the kind of poeticized biography that, at times, tells us more than straight biography can by itself.


Jean Echenoz

New Press

Out now