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Publisher's Summary

Pierre is a veteran bartender in a café in the outskirts of Paris. He observes his customers as they come and go - the young man who drinks beer as he reads Primo Levi, the fellow who from time to time strips down and plunges into the nearby Seine, the few regulars who eat and drink there on credit - sizing them up with great accuracy and empathy. Pierre doesn’t look outside more than necessary; he prefers to let the world come to him. Soon, however, the café must close its doors, and Pierre finds himself at a loss. As we follow his stream of thoughts over three days, Pierre’s humanity and profound solitude both emerge.

The Waitress Was New is a moving portrait of human anguish and weakness, of understated nobility and strength. Lire est un plaisir describes Dominique Fabre as a "magician of the everyday."

©2009 Dominique Fabre (P)2018 Archipelago

Critic Reviews

"For his US debut, Fabre offers a poignantly funny, slender slice of a French waiter’s life...In his patient, deliberative layering, the details of Pierre’s quotidian life assume an affecting solidity and significance. (Publishers Weekly)

"Simply and elegantly captures the dignity of a day’s work, the humanity of friendship and the loneliness of aging." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Fabre becomes the lyrical, compassionate spectator of all these infinitesimal, silent lives - our lives - as they move between leaving the suburban underground station and arriving home. It is a tiny fragment of life, simply told and yet touching in the extreme. When Fabre writes, he ‘really believes in the possibility of showing you genuine beauty, genuine dignity and places or people that have been somehow overlooked.’ Mission accomplished." (French Book News)

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