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Anna Kavan
Wittgenstein's Nephew
David McLintock, Thomas Bernhard

The Ladies' Paradise (Les Rougon-Macquart, #11)

The Ladies' Paradise (Les Rougon-Macquart, #11) - Émile Zola, Kristin Ross I read an older public domain translation available through Google books. This is a somewhat lighter Zola novel centering around the owner, employees and shoppers at Paris' first large department store, as well as the subsequent gentrification of the neighborhood and the smaller long-established businesses the store (the titular Au Bonheur des dames) drives out of business.

With a plucky heroine who endures penury to support her younger brothers and sexual harassment from the store's resident lecher, sharply drawn supporting characters scrambling to stay atop the competitive heap, and droolworthy descriptions of the goods on sale, this was a terrific read. Ours was not the first consumerist society.