The Green Parrot

Princess Marthe Bibesco Malcolm Cowley (translator)

Through an anonymous daughter of five, Bibesco’s work details the plight of an upper-class Russian family exiled to France on the eve of World War I. Stricken by grief and far removed from czarist Russia the narrator finds solace watching a green parrot through a shop window. A coming of age and a reckoning with predestination, Bibesco’s novel is an essential modern work.

“A strange and beautiful story, with the faintly arid charm of a miniature painted on the cover of a seventeenth-century snuff box.”
—The New York Times

“Proust and Princess Bibesco were natives of the same land….Their touching of fingertips at the ball was more significant than the embraces of those who danced till dawn.”
—George Painter