The Mystery Guest

Grégoire Bouillier


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McNally Editions
17 June 2024
ISBN: 9781961341050
104 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Ben Truman

A “frank and wry, mad and graceful” (Slate) true story about getting dumped, and getting over it.

When the phone rang on a cold November afternoon in 1990, Grégoire Bouillier had no way of knowing that the caller was the woman who had left him, without warning, five years before. And he couldn’t have guessed why she was calling: not to say she was sorry, not to explain why she’d vanished from his life, but to invite him to a party. A birthday party. For a woman he’d never met.

Here is the unlikely but true account of how one man got over a broken heart, regained his faith in literature, participated—by mistake—in a work of performance art, threw away his turtlenecks, spent his rent money on a 1964 bordeaux that nobody ever drank, and fell in love again. Named one of the year’s best books by Slate and the San Francisco Chronicle when it first appeared in English, The Mystery Guest is a “darkly hilarious . . . odyssey . . . that wends its loopy way toward yes” (O, the Oprah Magazine).