Mérot, Pierre 1959-

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MÉrot, Pierre 1959-

PERSONAL:

Born December 16, 1959, in Paris, France.

CAREER:

Writer. Has also worked as journalist and teacher.

WRITINGS:

FICTION

Le pays soeur (novel), Editions de la Différence (Paris, France), 1987.

Crucifiction (novel), Editions de la Différence (Paris, France), 1991.

Petit Camp: rites de déconcertants, preface by Dominique Noguez, Parc (Paris, France), 2001.

Mammals (novel), translated by Frank Wynne, Grove Press (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

French writer Pierre Mérot is the author of several experimental pieces of fiction whose work has been compared to other modernist French writers, such as Michel Houellebecq. His first full-length novel, Mammals, was published in translation in the United States in 2006. Mérot presents "a ranting, rambling apostrophe, a miasmal portrait of the modern world in lightning-quick prose" with Mammals, according to New Statesman reviewer Tom Webber. The story of "Uncle" and his attempts to forge a life separate from his family, the novel traces the protagonist's zigzag route through life as he experiences a failed marriage, the effects of alcoholism and loose living that force him to move back into his mother's house, and finally his rebirth of sorts through his liaison with his longtime love, Cruella. Throughout, Mérot continues a minute investigation and critical appraisal of modern French cultural and social life in a novel that "invokes the most bitter of chick lit [even though Uncle is a male character], capturing the pessimism characteristic of the unlucky-in-love working-gal heroine," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. For Booklist reviewer Whitney Scott, Uncle is a "modern European Everyman to be studied under a microscope and reported on dispassionately" in this work sprinkled with "absurdist humor." Webber was less positive in his assessment of Mammals, however, commenting that it is a "novel of unfulfilled potential" that "does not really go anywhere." A Kirkus Reviews critic also found the book "tiresome at times," but went on to note that the novel offers "enough laughs to make it worthwhile." Similarly, Juliet Waters, writing in the Montreal Mirror, considered Mammals "a quick, fun, boozy read on a cold, dull winter night."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2006, Whitney Scott, review of Mammals, p. 29.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of Mammals, p. 201.

Library Journal, April 1, 2006, Stephen Morrow, review of Mammals, p. 84.

New Statesman, August 7, 2006, Tom Webber, "Children of Celine," review of Mammals, p. 50.

Publishers Weekly, March 15, 2006, review of Mammals, p. 40.

ONLINE

Evene,http://www.evene.fr/ (October 26, 2006), brief biography of Pierre Mérot.

Montreal Mirror Online,http://www.montrealmirror.com/ (February 23, 2006), Juliet Waters, review of Mammals. *

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Mérot, Pierre 1959-

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