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French fiction had become austere and theoretical until Jean-Philippe Toussaint took it in the direction of the wacky, even goony. His earlier stories focused on characters retreating from contemporary life, but that has given way to work with a light, lyrical approach. The Toussaint narrator views the world through a melancholy lens, while his characters move at speed on their inter-continental jaunts.
- Jean-Philippe Toussaint: author, 'Self-Portrait Abroad' and 'Running Away'