Alphonse Daudet was born in Nimes in 1840. He made his name with gentle stories and novels portraying life in the French provinces, notably Lettres de mon Moulin (1869). He died in 1897. His extraordinary notebooks detailing the effects of syphilis on his life were first published under the title In the Land of Pain by Daudet's widow in 1931. The first English translation by Julian Barnes was published by Jonathan Cape in 2002. Julian Barnes is the author of twelve novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, four collections of essays, and two books of non-fiction, Nothing to be Frightened Of and the Sunday Times number one bestseller Levels of Life. In 2017 he was awarded the LUgion d'Honneur.
"Barnes...has given Daudet a startling resurrection" * New York Times * "A new translation of a forgotten pocket masterpiece by a forgotten pocket French writer, a very short, moving, book about pain" -- Observer "Vivid and impressionistic, it reads at times like a list of symptoms, at times like a sort of macabre prose poem... It looks like a slight book, but Daudet's eloquence is dynamite" * Evening Standard * "A great deal of this unique text needs explaining to modern readers. The footnotes that Barnes provides are wonders of information and observation, brilliant novellas in themselves" * Sunday Times * "This slim volume is full of snapshots from the frontier of pain: unsentimental observations, anecdotes and cries of anguish" * Sunday Herald *