Shortly after Albert Cohen left France for London to escape the Nazis, he received news of his mother’s death in Marseille. Unable to mourn her, he expressed his grief in a series of moving pieces for La France libre, which later grew into Book of My Mother. Achingly honest, intimate, and moving, this love song is a tribute to all mothers. Cohen himself expressed, “I shall not have written in vain if one of you, after reading my hymn of death, is one evening gentler with his mother because of me and my mother.”
Brilliant ... Straight out of French farce ... A miracle of patience and suppleness . . . A phantasmagoric display of a certain view of the world.
— London Review of Books
I read Livre de ma mere twice. This heartrending book haunts you. I just had to go back to it.
— Emile Henriot, Academic Francaise, Le Monde
A most moving and delicate love song.
— Le Figaro
You must read this extraordinary testimony of a son. Never before has a writer spoken of his mother like Albert Cohen.
— Andre Billy, Acaademie Goncourt, Le Figaro
A masterpiece. A book that is unique and will endure. A most beautiful love story.
— Marcel Pagnol
I do not think anyone has ever written anything more beautiful, more deeply and soberly moving, about a mother and the feelings of tenderness, veneration, regret and even remorse which she can inspire.
— Roger Giron, Le Voix du Nord
One of the most beautiful love stories ever written.
You must read this book.
— Jacques Brenner, Paris-Normandie
A gold-plated, cherry-on-top classic in France ... Characters [are] rendered with eye-popping, Rabelaisian detail and touching vulgarity ... Its unspooling comedy of manners; its first-ideal-then-smothering love affair all lead the reader to still-huger questions: how can we love humans, obsessed as they are with power? How can we reconcile reason and faith?
— The Kenyon Review
That anything so sad can also be witty and sublimely comic makes Mrs. Cohen [the mother] into a triumph of literature.
— Nick DiMartino, Shelf Awareness