Blaise Cendrars (1887-1961) was the pseudonym of Frederic Sauser, the Swiss son of a French Anabaptist father and a Scottish mother. As a young man he traveled widely, from St. Petersburg to New York and beyond, and these wanderings proved the inspiration of much of his later poetry and prose. Settled in Paris in 1912, Cendrars published two long poems, "Easter in New York" and "The Transsiberian," which made him a major figure in the poetic avant-garde. At the outset of World War I, he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion, losing an arm in the battle of the Marnes. A prolific poet, Cendrars was also an exceptional novelist, the author of Moravagine, Gold, Rhum, and The Confessions of Dan Yack, among many other books. Paul La Farge is the author of two novels: The Artist of the Missing, and Haussmann, or the Distinction, which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2001. His third book, The Facts of Winter, was in January 2005.
Rip-roaring fiction and imaginative adventuring on all planes of
-- Times Literary Supplement
Moravagine seeks damnation and extinction with a glee unequaled
in literature. The only parallels that come to mind are Celine and
-- Sven Birkerts, New Boston Review An unbridled picaresque fantasy...full of tenderness, horror, and ink-black jokes of a visual intensity that recall Goya.
-- Financial Times Savage, funny, wildly inventive.
-- John Lehmann, Sunday Telegraph