Re: RARA-AVIS: Black Lizard /Carco

From: Greg Swan (
Date: 01 Feb 2000

----- Original Message ----- From: "Etienne Borgers" <>

> I was surprised as well, but just because apparently
> there is a translation of one of his novels.

I've got three additional Carco English translations, in paperback. All sport sensationalistic covers. They are:
    Street of the Lost Berkley Diamond 1960 Lowell Bair
    Rue Pigale Avon 1954 Frances Frenaye
    Only a Woman Berkley Diamon 1955 Ralph Manheim

Last column is the translator. I think Frenaye translated Perversity, as well.

Biographical info included with the books:

Monsieur Carco, although long recognized in France (he has been awared the Grand Prix of the French Academy and is a member of the Goncourt Academy) is relativley unknown in the United States. Despite fifty (!) books by Carco published in France, Rue Pigalle marks only the third time that one of his novels has appeared in America. One of these titles, Perversity, was reprinted by Avon and was a best-seller.

Francis Carco is almost unknown in America although his novel Perversity was a best-seller. He is one of the legendary few who write only of the Paris Underworld. A biographer of perverts and prostitutes, Carco has won the Grand Prix of the French Academy. An intimate of Colette, Modigliani, Utrillo, Cocteau and whe who fabulous Montmartre set, Carco belongs to the last Bohemia of Paris.

I haven't read them, but they look like noir tales of self-destruction, which is why I have them: "Louise hated her work, but was unable to escape the strange and compelling fascination it held for her." I'm not sure exactly what Louise does, but it involves an "open market" of some sort.

Maybe I'll crack open a Carco afer I finish Red Harvest, which has turned out to require real effort on my part.

Greg Swan

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