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Sunny spells /

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Jean-Jacques Sempé is one of the most successful and best-loved cartoonists in the world, best known from his cartoons that have graced the covers and pages of the New Yorker for decades. Sempé has published numerous collections of his work in his native France, but never before have they been translated into English. Phaidon Press is delighted to present the first English translated publication of SUNNY SPELLS by Jean-Jacques Sempé, one of four witty and beautifully illustrated collections from this notorious and widely adored cartoonist. Originally published in France in 1999, SUNNY SPELLS explores a wide range of topics, from troubled relationships and existential crises to office politics and doping scandals in the literary world. Sempé's cast of characters includes pious churchgoers, amateur painters and lovelorn paleontologists, as well as psychiatrists, actors and football supporters. In the spirit of (celebrity) book clubs, one image portrays three very pleased-looking women inquiring if a bemused salesman could recommend a book that `hasn't been picked up by the media,' so that they can set the book off with the `irresistible force known as the word-of-mouth campaign.' Another modern day spoof illustrates two business men departing from a rather long lunch, discussing the satisfaction of their meals in comparison to the rather verbose man they dinned with, adding that they could `find all his anecdotes and quotations on the Internet within five minutes.' Propelled by the hustle and bustle of the cityscape into the calming images of vacation spots and churches, readers will reach for this collection time and time again in order to satisfy their travel desires. Sempé's work, once just the one-of-a-kind illustrations that appeared before our American eyes in delightful yet sporadic moments, can now be brought home as an enchanting part of every family's library. SUNNY SPELLS, just one volume of four, includes more than 100 illustrations, both pen and ink, with captions translated by Anthea Bell. Professionals, children, and adults of any age will fall in love with these charming books.

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