PanNew York Times Book ReviewNo law of literature demands that a fabulous and flamboyant figure be served by an equally flamboyant treatment. But Red Widow inters rather than resurrects a fascinating woman, a figure at once seductive, hysterical, adulterous, mendacious, captivating and cultured ... Horowitz often reverts to clichés ... How exactly was she able to compel the attention of the greatest minds and talents of the Belle Epoque? And what was it like to live in this era, so notable for its cultural ferment, scientific achievements, colonial intrigues, masterpieces of literature, music, theater and painting? More exhilarating, presumably, than the anachronistic dryness of this conscientious text ... It is a pity that Steinheil’s voice has been effaced, as has her very French, very sly wit, as have the newspapers which chronicled her fortune.
Camille Kouchner, trans. by Adriana Hunter
RaveNew York Times Book ReviewFree of voyeurism and elegantly written, The Familia Grande is also an artistic success ... The Familia Grande is less about incest than it is about May 1968, the relationship between a daughter and mother, and the destruction of a family ... The translation, by Adriana Hunter, is tonally faithful and frequently creative, though on occasion Évelyne loses a bit of her sparkle ... Kouchner’s short sentences and simple diction evoke a child’s point of view; but if her prose is spare, it is not childish. Every member of the family is fully drawn — except her twin brother. He is assigned a pseudonym, to protect his privacy ... The book is a sharply focused portrait of a certain kind of privileged French family of its era, first revolutionary and then bourgeois.