Translated from the original French by Alison Anderson
Nobody wanted Corentin. His father left him, his mother dreams of getting rid of him. Dragged from home to home, his childhood is an aimless pilgrimage, until the day his mother leaves him with old Augustine. Life begins anew for him. Deep into the remote, verdant Valley of the Forests, Corentin finds the care and love hes been missing. When he grows up and moves to the city, Corentin immerses himself in the dazzling pleasures and distractions of urban life. But all around him, the world is on fire. Temperatures rise, rivers dry up, trees shed their leaves in June: a catastrophe is brewing. The night the worst happens, Corentin survives, hidden in the depths of the citys catacombs. When he emerges, he finds a devastated landscape devoid of life. Human, tree, or beast: nothing is left. But Corentin, armed only with hope, sets off on a journey to find Augustine.
About the Author/Translator:
Sandrine Collette was born in Paris in 1970. She divides her time between Nanterre, where she teaches philosophy and literature, and Burgundy, where she has a horse stud farm. She is the author of numerous novels, including Nothing but Dust (Europa, 2018), winner of the Landerneau Prize for crime fiction, and After the Wave (Europa, 2020).
Alison Anderson’s translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She has translated all of Muriel Barbery’s books, including the international bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
Nominating Library’s Comments:
The world is on fire. Only armed with love and hope, the young Corentin begins a terrible journey to the remote Valley of Forests, looking for Augustine his adoptive grandmother.
A powerful and frightening post-apocalyptic novel. – Réseau de Bibliothéques de Colmar, France