Occupation Journal


Translated from by

Published: Forthcoming

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Book Description

Written during the years of France’s occupation by the Nazis, Jean Giono’s Occupation Journal reveals the inner workings of one of France’s great literary minds during the country’s darkest hour. A renowned writer and committed pacifist throughout the 1930s and 1940s – a conviction that resulted in his imprisonment before and after the Occupation – Giono spent the war in the town of Manosque in Provence, where he wrote, corresponded with other writers, and cared for his family. This journal records his musings on art and literature, his observations of life, his interactions with the machinery of the collaborationist Vichy regime, as well as his forceful political convictions. Giono recounts the details of his life with fierce independence of thought and novelistic attention to character and dialogue. Occupation Journal is a fascinating historical document as well as a unique window into one of French literature’s most voracious and critical minds.

A survivor of unspeakably inhuman battles during WWI, which pitted common Frenchmen and Germans against each other, Giono was first and foremost a humanist and a pacifist who sought rapprochement between all enemies. Jody Gladding has beautifully rendered Giono’s inner voice, in its various moods and registers, lyrical, cynical, and reflective.
Paul Eprile

For Giono, literature and reality overlap the way that waves sweep over the shore, one ceaselessly refreshing the other and, in certain wondrous moments, giving it a glassy clearness.

Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic

Giono's voice is the voice of the realist; his accents are the accents of simplicity, power and a passionate feeling for a land and a people that he must love as well as understand.

The New York Times