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French Exit: A Novel
by Patrick deWitt

Published: 2018-08-28
Hardcover : 256 pages
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National Bestseller

NAMED A RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE SEASON BY:
Vanity Fair • Entertainment Weekly • Vulture • The Millions • Publishers Weekly • Esquire • San Francisco Chronicle
USA Today • Parade • The Washington Post • Buzzfeed 

From bestselling author Patrick ...

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Introduction

National Bestseller

NAMED A RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE SEASON BY:
Vanity Fair • Entertainment Weekly • Vulture • The Millions • Publishers Weekly • Esquire • San Francisco Chronicle
USA Today • Parade • The Washington Post • Buzzfeed 

From bestselling author Patrick deWitt, a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration.

Frances Price – tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Price’s aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts.

Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin – to riotous effect. A number of singular characters serve to round out the cast: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic proposing a seance, and a doctor who makes house calls with his wine merchant in tow, to name a few.  

Brimming with pathos, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind 'tragedy of manners,' a send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute. 

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of September 2018: With French Exit, Patrick deWitt has written the most wickedly funny novel of 2018. You probably know: a “French exit” is when guests sneak out of a party without saying goodbye, and that’s just what Frances, “a moneyed, striking woman of 65 years” does when she blows through the last of her cash and flees Manhattan for Paris. Add to the mix her apathetic 32-year-old son, some ragtag expat friends, and a cat named Small Frank—who may or may not embody the spirit of Frances’s dead husband—and you have a bizarre but wildly successful comedy. DeWitt (Undermajordomo Minor; The Sisters Brothers) adds just a soupçon of pathos, making French Exit more than just frothy fun. This is one party you won’t want to leave early. —Sarah Harrison Smith, Amazon Book Review

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