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The sorcerer's apprentice - Franois Augiras

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The sorcerer's apprentice
Franois Augiras
Paperback / softback
Pushkin Collection
UK Publication Date

In the depths of the Sarladais, a land of ghosts, cool caves and woods, a teenage boy is sent to live with a thirty-five-year-old priest, but soon the man becomes more than just his teacher. Published in the United Kingdom for the first time. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a gallant, almost magical book that is one of modern literature's esoteric, underground texts.

Pushkin Collection editions feature a spare, elegant series style and superior, durable components. The Collection is typeset in Monotype Baskerville, litho-printed on Munken Premium White Paper and notch-bound by the independently owned printer TJ International in Padstow. The covers, with French flaps, are printed on Colorplan Pristine White Paper. Both paper and cover board are acid-free and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.

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Franois Augrias was born in 1925 in Rochester, New York. His father was French; a pianist, his mother a Polish migre. After his father died he returned to Paris, but spent his adolesence in Prigord, which was to be his refuge during a life of restless wandering. In 1945 he went to Algiers for a year, living with his reclusive uncle, a retired colonel, and in a Trappist monastery. This, and time spent with the monks of Athos, were profound influences on both his writing and his painting, often likened to modern icons. Andr Gide, who knew him, described his writing as a bizarre delight. Augrias died in a hospice at Domme in 1971 aged forty-six.

"This tale of spiritualised depravity is genuinely erotic. Whatever one might think of the strange division of morality and spirituality in this novella, it shows that descriptions of generous, world-encompassing desire are not solely the preserve of women." - Murrough O'Brien, Independent on Sunday

"The story has a spiritual as well as a sexual, dimension, and it is essentially pantheistic. None of the characters are named, and that's relevant to the novelist purpose, for they are vividly realised and shadowy by turns. It is flawlessly translated by Sue Dyson." - Paul Bailey, Daily Telegraph

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