I undertook my first translation when I was living in Vienna and was approached by a young Austrian playwright who wanted an English version of his play about violence in America. I learned Italian while in public school in Italy in the late 1950s. I became a Francophile during my high school years, and decided to learn German in college to get a better rounded feel for European cultures. Years later I was very lucky to marry a beautiful German woman I met in New York City.


Elisabeth Kaestner came to New York in 1968 and embarked on a career in psychology conducting research, teaching and working in private practice. In more recent years, she has enjoyed her creative endeavors as a studio jeweler. She has translated two books and several articles from her native German into English, in collaboration with her husband Paul De Angelis.

Nancy Amphoux was a highly regarded translator from the French known particularly for bringing into English biographies and non-fiction works by Henri Troyat, Claude Manceron, and Edmonde Charles-Roux. An adept of Zen Buddhism, she also worked on several volumes by Japanese Zen Master Taisen Deshimaru and published her own DIARY OF A ZEN NUN a few years before her death in the early 1990s.



Jean-Philippe Toussaint

Translated from the French by Nancy Amphoux and Paul De Angelis


First published in France in 1985, The Bathroom was Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s debut novel, and it heralded a new generation of innovative French literature. In this playful and perplexing book, we meet a young Parisian researcher who lives inside his bathroom. As he sits in his tub meditating on existence (and refusing to tell us his name), the people around him—his girlfriend, Edmondsson, the Polish painters in his kitchen—each in their own way further enables his peculiar lifestyle, supporting his eccentric quest for immobility. But an invitation to the Austrian embassy shakes up his stable world, prompting him to take a risk and leave his bathroom. . .

Jean-Philippe Toussaint is a filmmaker and the author of many acclaimed novels, including Television, Monsieur, and Camera. All are available from Dalkey Archive Press.

“An original and significant writer, whose fiction can be as engaging as it is surprising.”                            —Times Literary Supplement

“Toussaint is a genuinely funny writer . . . small erotic moments are captured perfectly . . . makes me long for more by Toussaint.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The combination of the absurd and the conscious intellect recalls such other French-language writers as Raymond Queneau in a style that is elegant, erudite, and joyously superficial.”
Publishers Weekly

“ . . . The foundation of the tale is the impossibility of coping with the minor but lunatic complexities of modern society; its surface is highly entertaining.”
—Phoebe-Lou Adams, The Atlantic

“ . . .(T)he central humour of the novel comes from the look itself, which makes fiction out of the wondrous oddity of the banal.”
—Dan Gunn, Times Literary Supplement