Jacques Roubaud is one of France's most important contemporary writers. He has published poetry, criticism, drama, and fiction, including the novels in his Hortense series and the several autobiographical volumes continuing the The Great Fire of London project, including The Loop and Mathematics: A Novel. A prominent member of the Oulipo, he taught mathematics for many years at the Universit Paris X Nanterre. He is also a prolific translator from English, having produced French versions of such classics as Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark and Edward Gorey's The Utter Zoo.
A supremely human work, born of the spirited integrity of a rare mind out of the multiform experiences of a body capable of intense torment and delight. The Independent Jacques Roubaud has finally produced the book that his great and varied talent had always promised... a beautifully controlled examination of the effect on him of his wife's death and of the failure of his literary ambitions. -- Gabriel Josipovici The Independent