What Was Lost
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By François Mauriac
What Was Lost, first published in French in 1930, sets the stage for Mauriac’s masterful novel The Dark Angels. Mauriac sketches the characters of Alain Forcas and his sister, Tota, against the backdrop of the disintegrating marriage of the duplicitous Hervé and the ailing Irène. Confronted with dysfunctional family dynamics, frustrated careers, and the persistent, anxious search for the presence of God in the modern world, the men and women in What Was Lost strive for meaning and happiness even as they vie against one another in selfishness and deceit. Fraught with tension and melancholy, What Was Lost marks an early, excellent effort of the Nobel Prize-winning Mauriac to bring his artistic philosophy to life in fiction.
François Mauriac (1885–1970) was a French, Roman Catholic novelist, poet, critic, and journalist. Critically acclaimed and respected, Mauriac received the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française for his novel The Desert of Love; was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d’honneur; and named laureate of the 1952 Nobel Prize in Literature.