Choice of the Elect

Trade Cloth – $29.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1924-6
Publication Date
June 2002
Page Count
245 pages
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 9

Choice of the Elect

Jean Giraudoux

Edmee lacks for nothing. Her adoring husband is a handsome and cosmopolitan engineer, they have two beautiful children, and they live a prosperous life in California. But all is not what it seems. Edmee is tortured by anxiety attacks. And her daughter Claudie shines with a disturbing inner knowledge.

Choice of the Elect follows Edmee through the seriocomic adventures that ensue when she deserts her husband. Edmee believes herself to be on a holy mission and over the years takes up with a series of mysterious lovers and finds success in Hollywood--all with Claudie in tow. Yet over time, Claudie rejects her, and Edmee comes to wonder whether this is tragedy or the price the holy must pay for being elect.

About the Author

Jean Giradoux (b. 1882) combined a career as an avant-garde novelist with work as a diplomat. Known for his Wildean wit-"Only the mediocre are always at their best"-Giradoux later won an international following as a playwright. His novels include Les Provinciales (1909), Suzanne and the Pacific (1921), and My Friend from Limousin (1922). He died in 1944, perhaps by poisoning, in Paris.

Henry Russell is a linguist, teacher, and translator of European and Latin American literature. He has taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University. 
"I am devoted to Giraudoux's writing in the way that some people are Gaullists or vegetarians."
--Mavis Gallant, New York Times Book Review

"Giradoux's work makes more sense now and is more accessible to us than it would have been when it first appeared. . . . I think that what is charming about Choice of the Elect is how it risks silliness and mannerism, only to surprise us, time after time, by turning  the tables and demonstrating the common-sense authenticity of the narrator's observations."

—David R. Slavitt, translator of Jean de Sponde's Sonnets of Love and Death and The Metamorphoses of Ovid