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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Fear and Trembling (1999) Amélie Nothomb

Book Review
Fear and Trembling (1999)
Amélie Nothomb

   Amélie Nothomb is a top selling writer of literary fiction in France, with a spotty record of English translation- about half her novels have made the jump.  Fear and Trembling was her big break out hit, winning, a yearly literary prize in France.  It tells the story of  a young woman with the same name as the author who works for a year in a gigantic Japanese corporation.  Her time there is a particular kind of "Office Space/The Office" hell.  Japanese office culture is vaguely transmitted to the West every few years when some poor sucker actually dies at the office from over work, but Nothomb's novel really lays it all out in excruciating detail.

  At times, one could question whether Fear and Trembling is actually a work of fiction, since the author apparently had the same experience, and she provides a kind of afterward which includes the narrator writing the book and receiving a card in the mail from one of her primary office tormentors.



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