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A Visit from Voltaire
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""I overheard you downstairs just then, when you referred to me as 'Nobody.' You now stand corrected. You may apologize."" "No, her intruder is hardly a Nobody. In fact, when an ordinary American reporter and mother of three, recently arrived in a small village in Switzerland, finds herself with a loony claiming to be the Greatest Mind of the Eighteenth Century, she pleads herself unworthy and begs him to go home." "But he doesn't, and over the next nine months her stubborn visitor will become her warmest friend, unfailing mentor and most frustrating intellectual foil. V. turns out to be a man of sparkling intelligence with a boundless interest in politics, philosophy, drama, and good gossip. He's an excellent raconteur, boasting knowledge of every subject under the sun, including his hostess' new neighborhood outside Geneva." "The two friends exchange tales of their respective pasts - stories of love, mystery, success, and failure, stories of heartbreak and courage, reminiscences roaming from London to Potsdam, Hollywood to Hong Kong. Determined to teach the author l'art de vivre, he puts her experiences as a mother, a writer, a wife, and an immigrant into a new perspective, both wise and humorous." "However, V. also has his downside. Ever-keen on science, he joyfully embraces modern technology and before long he's clogging her e-mail, bankrupting her credit cards and making a new name for himself with a web-site, L'Infame.org - in short becoming the Houseguest from Hell." "This mismatched couple survive their first winter by talking, laughing and quarreling across the centuries, across differences in politics, religion and sexual expectations. But by the end, it is the author's turn to sustain V. as he re-lives his own last days; shaken by what he discovers but resourceful as ever, he remains witty to the end."--BOOK JACKET.