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By Georges Bernanos
Joy is the story of Chantal de Clergerie, a young visionary who lives a life defined by innocence and purity amidst a tangle of insanity, and Abbé Cénabre, a priest grappling with apostasy. Continuing the story of his 1927 novel The Imposter, Bernanos exchanges austerity for sublimity and ratiocination for mysticism. Now the spiritual advisor to Chantal, Cénabre finds his presumption of knowledge’s saving power indicted by her graced modesty, patience, and childlike happiness. With his characteristic superb craftsmanship and brilliant dialogue, Bernanos brings the drama of pride and humility to a shocking conclusion.
Awarded the 1929 Prix Femina, a literary prize given to the best French novel of the year, Joy is a captivating, insightful, and profound look into the depths of the interior life, critically lauded as an “an exalted tale.”
Georges Bernanos (1888–1948) was a French novelist and essayist. Author of such acclaimed works as Diary of a Country Priest and Mouchette, he was a contemporary and influence of Flannery O’Connor. His works have been adapted into film with great critical success, and he remains one of France’s most respected authors.