"I wanted them all, even those I'd already read."
—Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer
—Time Out London
"[F]irst-rate…astutely selected and attractively packaged…indisputably great works."
—Adam Begley, The New York Observer
"I’ve always been haunted by Bartleby, the proto-slacker. But it’s the handsomely minimalist cover of the Melville House edition that gets me here, one of many in the small publisher’s fine 'Art of the Novella' series."
—The New Yorker
"The Art of the Novella series is sort of an anti-Kindle. What these singular, distinctive titles celebrate is book-ness. They're slim enough to be portable but showy enough to be conspicuously consumed—tiny little objects that demand to be loved for the commodities they are."
—KQED (NPR San Francisco)
"Some like it short, and if you're one of them, Melville House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn, has a line of books for you... elegant-looking paperback editions ...a good read in a small package."
—The Wall Street Journal
Guy de Maupassant was born in Normandy in 1850. At 20 he served in the Franco-Prussian War, then studied writing with his mother’s friend Gustav Flaubert (perhaps believing rumors, which persist, that Flaubert was his father). In 1880 he published his first story, “Boule de Suif,” which was hailed as a masterpiece. He quit his civil service job and soon published the collection, La Maison Tellier. He would go on to publish 300 stories and six novels, including Bel-Ami and Pierre et Jean, while living the life of a bon vivant. In the late 1880s, however, he began to show signs of syphilitic mental illness, and in 1891, was institutionalized after a suicide attempt. He died in a mental asylum in 1893.
Charlotte Mandell has won the Modern Language Association Prize in translation. Among other titles she has translated for The Art of the Novella series are Marcel Proust's The Lemoine Affair, Guy de Maupassant's The Horla, and Gustave Flaubert’s A Simple Heart.