Emmanuel Bove, translated from the French by Alyson Waters
EMMANUEL (BOBOVNIKOFF) BOVE was born in Paris in 1898. The son of an immigrant Ukrainian Jew and a Belgian-born housemaid, Bove was raised in abject poverty by an erratic, womanizing father and a cowering mother who shuffled her two children throughout the poorest neighborhoods of Paris. He began writing fiction in his late teens and many of his extraordinary novels have been translated into English. My Friends, Armand, The Stepson, A Singular Man, A Man Who Knows, Winter's Journal and Quicksand are all worth seeking out and devouring. Emmanuel Bove died in Paris in July 1945.
"Night Crime" is from the collection, Henri Duchemin et ses ombres ÂÂ© Flammarion.
ALYSON WATERS' most recent translation is Albert Cossery's A Splendid Conspiracy (New Directions, 2010). Her translation of Cossery's The Colors of Infamy will be published by New Directions in 2011, and her translation of Rene Belletto's Coda will also be published in 2011 (University of Nebraska Press).
It was Christmas Eve. Henri Duchemin sat on a worn-out bench in a restaurant, waiting for the rain to stop. The holes in his trouser pockets and the long hair tickling his ears were constant reminders of his poverty.