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The Solitude of Compassion, a collection of short stories never before available in English, won popular acclaim when it was originally published in France in 1932. It tells of small-town life in Provence, drawing on a whole village of fictional characters, often warm and decent, at times immoral and coarse. Giono writes of a friendship forged in a battlefield trench in the midst of World War I; an old man’s discovery of the song of the world; and, in the title story, the not-unrelated feelings of compassion and pity. In these twenty stories, Giono reveals his marvelous storytelling through his vivid images and lyrical prose, whether he is conveying the delicate scents of lavender and pine trees or the smells of damp earth and fresh blood.

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