Skip to product information
1 of 1

Swann's Way

Swann's Way

by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by James Grieve

Regular price $18.95
Regular price Sale price $18.95

Swann’s Way, the first of the seven volumes that con­stitute Marcel Proust’s lifework, In Search of Lost Time, introduces the larger themes of the whole work while standing on its own as a brilliant evocation of childhood, hopeless love, and the French Belle Époque.

We first encounter Proust’s narrator in middle age, consumed with regret for his misspent life. Suddenly, he is back in the past, seized by memories of childhood: his clinging attachment to his mother, his dread of his father, summers in the country and the two walks his family was in the habit of taking—one by an aristocratic estate, the other by the house of a certain Charles Swann, to whom a mystery was attached. A child’s world, and the world of adults the child struggles to imagine, spread out before us, while Proust’s pages teem with incident and puzzle­ment, pathos and humor.

The novel then takes a further step backwards to tell the story of Swann’s infatuation with the courtesan Odette. Swann, man­-about­-town and familiar of royalty, is reduced to walking after midnight, forlorn as a child awaiting a good­night kiss.

James Grieve began his career translating Proust in the early 1970s, driven by his dismay at how many readers recoiled from what they imagined to be the difficulty of Proust’s work, and his translation of Swann’s Way brings out the book’s fluency and speed as no other version does. It offers an unequaled introduction to an incompa­rably absorbing work of art.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681376295
Pages: 464
Publication Date:


Here is a Swann’s Way that functions as a [In Search of Lost Time] sampler plate: the mildly curious will find their appetites sated and the intrepid literary explorers will find theirs whetted.
—Eric Vanderwall, On the Seawall

From its initial ‘Time was . . .’ to ‘doing the cattleyas’ and beyond, James Grieve’s translation of Swann’s Way is ingenious, scrupulous, and limber. Grieve’s sensitivity to nuance and the skill of his syntactic joinery give this ver­sion of the entrance to Proust’s masterwork distinctive and enduring appeal.
—Chris Andrews

View full details
  • Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? Give them the gift of choice with a New York Review Books Gift Card.

    Gift Cards 
  • A membership for yourself or as a gift for a special reader will promise a year of good reading.

    Join NYRB Classics Book Club 
  • Is there a book that you’d like to see back in print, or that you think we should consider for one of our series? Let us know!

    Tell us about it