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In the Time of the Blue Ball
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About the Author

Manuela Draeger is one of French author Antoine Volodine's numerous heteronyms and she therefore belongs to a community of imaginary authors that includes Lutz Bassmann and Elli Kronauer. Since 2002, she has published novels for adolescents.

Brian Evenson is the author of more than a dozen books of fiction. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Fremon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, Manuela Draeger, and David B. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Greek Japanese, Persian, Russia, Spanish, Slovenian, and Turkish. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Critical Studies Program at CalArts.

Valerie Evenson is a scholar and translator.

Reviews

"With the calm strangeness of dreams, and humor deepened by a hint of melancholy, these wonderful stories fool around on the frontiers of the imagination. All musical dogs, woolly crabs, children and other detectives of the not-yet-invented should own this book." -Shelley Jackson

"In three short stories with a distinct Murakami vibe, hapless investigator Bobby Potemkine threads his way through his city's meteor-shredded ruins to find out which of several women named Lili has really invented fire, what to do about an angry noodle named Auguste Diodon, and how to rescue the many baby pelicans that litter the roads. Every page introduces another curiosity in Draeger's cabinet of wonders." -Publishers Weekly

"The stories are dreamlike, cozy, and creepy and wistful all at once. They remind me of Tove Jansson's Moomintroll stories, if the Moomin adventures unrolled against a backdrop of subtle bleakness. Everything's happy, yet you feel like everything is destroyed. They also remind me of Chagall's paintings, if the paintings were hanging in a bomb shelter." -Sofia Samatar

"Draeger is a French author of adolescent fiction, but she's also a fictional character created by Antoine Volodine, which is a pen name of an anonymous French writer. In Volodine's stories, Draeger is a containment-camp librarian who writes stories for children, but in France she's published without that backstory. Thank god for The Dorothy Project, who published three of her stories in the US in a delirious, playful Brian Evenson translation called In the Time of the Blue Ball." -Tin House

"If you've ever read anything like Manuela Draeger's In the Time of the Blue Ball, it must've been at least five green balls ago, because this book is strange and unlike other books." -The Review of Contemporary Fiction

"As with Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss before her, Manuela Draeger materializes new phrases and places from nothing and inside of fresh and vastly imaginative stories." -J.A. Tyler, Pank

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