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The Black Notebook

The Black Notebook

Author(s): Patrick Modiano

Location(s): Paris

Genre(s): Fiction, Novella

Era(s): Modern looking back to 1960s

Location

Content

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Set in Montparnasse, Paris.

A writer discovers a set of notes in his notebook and sets off on a journey through the Paris of his past, in search of the woman he loved forty years previously.

Set in the Montparnasse district of Paris, the author, Jean, retraces his nocturnal footsteps around the left bank during France’s period of decolonisation during the 1960’s. He tries to remember what brought him into contact with a gang that frequented the hotel Unic in the area. His quest through seedy cafés and cheap hotels becomes an enquiry into a woman, Dannie, whom Jean loved and who once tried to admit to a terrible crime. Over the course of several voyages between past and present, we meet various shady characters, and discover that Dannie may have killed “someone”. As his memories overlap with the discovery of an old vice squad dossier, Jean reinvestigates the closed case of a crime where he could well be the last remaining witness.

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Book Reviews

Lead Review

Author: tripfiction

3.5* “Modiano takes up his struggle with memory again, resuscitating people and place in one magnificent, impressionistic tracking shot” (Marianne Payot, Express) – and this quote wonderfully sums up for me the experience of...

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Enter the inaugural TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

Top judges to decide the winners

Cash prizes totalling £500 / $600 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 15th November 2020