Pedigree: A Memoir

Pedigree: A Memoir (The Margellos World Republic of Letters)

I’m prepared to overdose on Modiano after loving the quiet stillness of Suspended Sentences. So I marched down to the library and picked up his autobiography (this) along with a handful of other titles to be consumed in one gulp. If we take him at his word, the life he depicts in this autobiography has a complete resemblance to the world depicted in the novellas I just finished reading. Born to parents who met in Occupied France, his father a Jew deeply involved in the black market, his mother a self-absorbed theater actress who dumps her son wherever she can. Modiano is in boarding school from age eleven onward, escaping in various stretches due to being starved to death, trying to get his parents to let him remain in Paris where they live, one atop the other, his father with new girlfriend and mother with various roommates. He steals and pawns things until he writes his first book and then makes a living through writing.