Proust's Overcoat. Lorenza Foschini by Lorenza Foschini

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The story of the overcoat begins with a chance meeting - between an obsessive bibliophile, Jacques Guerin, the head of a French perfume house, and his physician, Dr Robert Proust, brother of the late writer. Glimpsing the possibility of adding to his collection, Guerin stumbles into a tense and tangled relationship with the novelist's family who, embarrassed by Proust's writings and his homosexuality, are in the process of destroying the mountain of notebooks, letters and manuscripts they had inherited. Little by little, over decades, Guerin acquires Marcel's remaining personal effects, including - eventually - the relic he had come to covet more than any other: the moth-eaten otter-lined overcoat Proust had worn every day and used as a blanket every night while writing in bed. Like the novelist's second skin, this coat was as close as Guerin could ever come to touching Proust himself: it was the jewel of his collection.

About Lorenza Foschini

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Lorenza Foschini is an Italian journalist, writer, and television news anchorwoman on RAI, the state-owned Italian radio and television network. As a Vatican correspon-dent, she traveled around the world, covering the journeys of Pope John Paul II. She is the author of Investigation at Millennium's End, which won the Prix Scanno, and has translated Return to Guermantes, a collection of previously unpublished Proustian texts, from French into Italian. Born in Naples, she lives in Rome.
Published November 1, 2010 by Portobello Books. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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Guerin was to buy a vast number of much more important items – none of them "priceless" either – from both Dr Proust and later from his widow Marthe.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Proust's Overcoat. Lorenza Fo...

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