One of the edgiest and most innovative novels to come out of Europe in years-not to mention one of the most scandalous and successful-this thinly veiled roman-à-clef is about the daughter of one of Europe's most famous writers as she navigates life after the collapse of her marriage.
It is a penetrating, sometimes funny, sometimes enraged look at pain in the limelight, where a glamorous, privileged world offers no protection for shattered heroine Louise. Deserted by her famous husband-the man she has loved since they were children-when he falls for a model-turned-rock star, she is unmoored in a world that suddenly has no meaning for her. And as her life implodes, one misfortune seems to follow another-her grandmother dies, her mother develops cancer, and there is always the question: Why did Adrien leave?
Based on some of Europe's most glamorous real-life stars-including Bernard-Henri Lévy and Carla Bruni, Mick Jagger's ex-Justine Lévy captures the world of the "beautiful people" with lacerating relish, as well as humor and a wonderfully poetic eye for detail. In the end, narrator Louise spares no one-and especially not herself-from her ruthless and ultimately energizing honesty.
Nothing Serious is a stylish work of blazing intelligence and won universal praise from critics upon its release in Europe, selling over 200,000 copies.
Justine Lévy's first novel, The Rendezvous, was hailed by the The New York Times as "devastating," and Library Journal called it "irresistible." Lévy is an editor at Editions Plon, one of France's leading publishing houses, and she is the daughter of the famous philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. She lives in Paris.
Charlotte Mandell, winner of the Modern Language Association Prize, has translated Jean Genet, Bernard-Henri Lévy, and Gustav Flaubert.