Émile Zola

Thérèse Raquin
  • Thérèse Raquin

  • Émile Zola

    A BRAND NEW TRANSLATION BY ADAM THORPE

    ‘Adam Thorpe's version deserves to become the standard English text’ Daily Telegraph

    ‘[Adam Thorpe] brings an unusual freshness and zip to the task, which goes some way towards returning us to that sense of unnerving immediacy which the young Zola's novel would have given its readers in 1867’ Times Literary Supplement

    Mysterious disappearances, domestic cases, noiseless, bloodless snuffings-out… the law can look as deep as it likes, but when the crime itself goes unsuspected… oh yes, there's many a murderer basking in the sun...

    When Thérèse Raquin is forced to marry the sickly Camille, she sees a bare life stretching out before her, leading every evening to the same cold bed and every morning to the same empty day. Escape comes in the form of her husband’s friend, Laurent, and Thérèse throws herself headlong into an affair. There seems only one obstacle to their happiness; Camille. They plot to be rid of him. But in destroying Camille they kill the very desire that connects them…

    First published in 1867, Thérèse Raquin has lost none of its power to enthral. Adam Thorpe’s unflinching translation brings Zola’s dark and shocking masterwork to life.

Émile Zola (1840-1902) is the author of Les Rougon-Macquart – a cycle of 20 novels written over a period of 22 years including Nana(1880), Germinal (1885) and The Drinking Den (1877)- which provides a panoramic view of life under Napoleon III. He was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. Zola campaigned for justice over the Dreyfus affair – ‘it is up to us poets to nail the guilty to the eternal pillory’ – and his open letter to the President ‘J’accuse’ landed him a prison sentence that he evaded only through exile in England. He is buried in the Panthéon alongside Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas. Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992, and he has written nine others, two collections of stories and six books of poetry – most recently Voluntary. Thorpe’s translation of Madame Bovary, ‘stunning and heartily recommended’ (Scotsman), is available in Vintage Classics. He lives in France with his wife and family.