Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: August 1, 2023
Ariane, A Young Russian Girl
by Claude Anet, translated from the French by Mitchell Abidor
An NYRB Classics Original
Ariane, A Young Russian Girl, the tale of a young girl in pre-revolutionary Russia who is unafraid to exercise her sexual independence, is the basis for the Audrey Hepburn film Love in the Afternoon, though the book has a much sharper edge than the film.
Beautiful, spirited, brilliant Ariane is seventeen and lives with her aunt in the provinces. Determined to go to Moscow to study at university, Ariane is perfectly willing to use her looks and charm on men the better to get ahead.
Once settled in Moscow, Ariane meets Constantine Michel, a man of the world who casually proposes an affair, while warning her not to grow too attached to him. Soon enough the two are involved, even as it is Ariane, increasingly, who holds Constantine at bay emotionally, deploying irony and cynicism and often leaving him at a loss.
Constantine, fascinated and infuriated, grows resentfully aware he does not know much of anything about Ariane, whom, among other things, he had taken to be a good deal older than, on her eighteenth birthday, he discovers her to be.
What is she holding back? What is she trying to prove? What is the true story of Ariane and how it will end? A story of eros and love to equal the best of Colette, Ariane, A Young Russian Girl is a realistic and gripping story about vulnerability and determination and what it means to grow up.