Reading was so important to Marcel Proust that it sometimes seems he was unable to create a personage without a book in hand. Everybody in his work reads: servants and masters, children and parents, artists and physicians. The more sophisticated characters find it natural to speak in quotations. Proust made literary taste a means of defining personalities and gave literature an actual role to play in his novels.
In this wonderfully entertaining book, scholar and biographer Anka Muhlstein, the author of "Balzac s Omelette, "draws out these themes in Proust's work and life, thus providing not only a friendly introduction to the momentous "In Search of Lost Time, "but also exciting highlights of some of the finest work in French literature."