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Second harvest
Giono, Jean, 1895-1970.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Regain. English
Publication Information:
London : Harvill, 1999.

Physical Description:
121 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
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In the village of Aubignane only three inhabitants remain - the blacksmith, a widow and Panturle, the hunter. Soon Panturle is abandoned and begins to lose his mind. But then a woman arrives and life is restored to the village as Panturle plants wheat to produce a second harvest.

Author Notes

Jean Giono was born in France on March 30, 1985. He was an author about whom Germaine Bree and M. Guiton have written, "When Giono's first novel, Colline (Hill of Destiny) appeared in 1929, it struck a fresh, new note. . . . After Proust and Gide, Duhamel and Romains, Cocteau and Giraudoux, what could be more restful than a world of wind and sun and simple men who apparently had never heard of psychological analysis, never confronted any social problems, never read any books. . ." (An Age of Fiction).

Raised by his shoemaker father in a small town in the south of France, Giono's fiction has its roots in the peasant life of Provence. Horrified by his experiences in World War I, Giono returned to the world of his youth, which became the world of his imagination. After the shock of World War II, his novels seemed to gain in stature. One of his best is Horseman on the Roof (1951), his chronicle of the great cholera epidemic of 1838.

Giono was honoured with the Prince Rainier of Monaco literary prize in 1953, awarded for his lifetime achievements, was elected to the Académie Goncourt in 1954, and became a member of the Conseil Littéraire of Monaco in 1963. Giono died of a heart attack in 1970.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

First published in France in 1930, Giono's lush tale of love and loss is being reissued in a new translation and illustrated with 12 provocative woodcuts by L.W. Graux. Giono (1895-1970) was French-born, of Italian origin, and wrote such beloved stories as The Man Who Planted Trees and Horseman on the Roof. He sets his succulent novel in the nearly abandoned Proven‡al village of Aubignane, home to three people: 80-year-old Gaubert, who soon leaves, seeking solace in his old age with his son in a neighboring village; a widow still grieving the loss of her husband and baby son, and seemingly growing more unstable; and 40-year-old Panturle, a huge, gruff and isolated hunter. When Mameche, the widow, disappears, Panturle grows nearly wild in his solitude. As he's on the edge of deep despair, a woman, Arsule, happens along. Arsule's story being a sad one, she happily leaves the man she's traveling with, who works her like an animal, and moves in with Panturle. Soon she's making clothes and redecorating the home, while Panturle finds himself with renewed faith in love and life, anxious to begin planting wheat and harvesting the earth's bounty. Giono invests his prose with stunning descriptions of the countryside and lyrical evocations of the majestic seasons ("Spring clung to his shoulders like a big cat"). The couple's romance is practical and their partnership utilitarian, but Giono renders their love lavish as they make a life where the air smells of lavender and where "such a passion has seized the earth... such a passion!" (Nov.) FYI: Giono was awarded the Prix Mon‚gasque in 1953 for his collective work. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

First published in France in 1930, this is a novel of rare charm and magicÄa poignant love story, masterfully told. Panturle, the young man at the center of the story, lives a very simple life alone in the Proven‡al uplands, a place that appears almost untouched by history. A hunter and trapper, he asks for very little of life, but when spring comes, he finds himself suddenly yearning for companionship and love. Arsule, a vagabond who drifts into town with a theatrical performer and is abandoned, is the young woman he comes to love. The life they build together in the deserted farming village of Aubignane is full of simple pastoral pleasures exquisitely rendered by Giono. Although American readers will no doubt need to be patient as they acclimate to Giono's style and fictional world, their patience will be richly rewarded. An enchanting novel, enthusiastically recommended.ÄPatrick Sullivan, Manchester Community-Technical Coll., CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.