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Pierre is a veteran bartender in a cafe on the outskirts of Paris. He observes his customers as they come and go - the young man who drinks beer as he reads Primo Levi, the fellow who, from time to time, strips down and plunges into the nearby Seine, the few regulars who eat and drink there on credit - sizing them up with great accuracy and empathy. Soon, however, the cafe must close its doors and Pierre finds himself at a loss. As readers follow his stream of thoughts over three days, Pierre's humanity and profound solitude both emerge. A moving portrait of human emotions.
Dominique Fabre possesses a unique voice among contemporary French novelists. Focusing on the lives of individuals on the margins of society, his works combines somber, subdued realism with lyrical perception. In his own words, Fabre "believes in the possibility of showing you genuine beauty, genuine dignity and places or people that have been somehow overlooked." He has produced nine works of fiction over the last decade. In 1995 Maurice Nadeau published Fabre's first novel, Moi aussi un jour j'irai loin, to much critical acclaim. His FantPmes (Serpent O plumes) received the Marcel Pagnol prize in 2001. The Waitress Was New is his first book to appear in English.
Jordan Stump received the 2001 French-American Foundation's Translation Prize for his translation of Le Jardin des Plantes by Nobel Prize winner Claude Simon. In 2006, Stump was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has translated the work of Eric Chevillard, Marie Redonnet, Patrick Modiano, HonorU de Balzac, and Jules Verne, among others. He is a professor of French literature at the University of Nebraska.