Paul Vincent | Granta

Paul Vincent

Publications

Villa Des Roses

Willem Elsschot

Translated by Paul Vincent

The gilt-lettered advertisement outside Madame Brulot’s pension in the shabby rue d’Armaille promises a ‘first-class family boarding house’ and ‘modern conveniences’. One thing is certain: few emerge from their stay at the Villa des Roses unscathed. The seduction of the new maid Louise, the tragic suicide of Monsieur Brizard, the champagne birthday party for Madame Dumoulin, the antics of Chico the monkey – these are just some of the incidents and characters that cause a sensation in the bittersweet and blackly comic world of the Villa des Roses.