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In the Café of Lost Youth (2007)
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"Who was Louki? Did anyone really know? She made her mark on all of us in different ways. We all remember her, some of us more than others, but did any of us truly know her? Can anyone honestly say they know another person? In the Cafe of Lost Youth is vintage Patrick Modiano, an absorbing evocation of a particular Paris of the 1950s, shadowy and shady, a secret world of writers, criminals, drinkers, and drifters. The novel, which includes vignettes of a number of historical figures and is inspired in part by the circle (depicted in the photographs of Ed van der Elsken) of the notorious and charismatic Guy Debord, centers on the enigmatic, waiflike figure of Louki, who catches everyone's attention even as she eludes possession or comprehension. Through the eyes of four very different narrators, we contemplate Louki's character and her fate, while Modiano explores the themes of identity, memory, time, and forgetting that are at the heart of his hypnotic and deeply moving art"--
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