De-Vigan-1
2015 Longlist

Nothing Holds Back the Night

Translated from the original French by George Miller
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Only a teenager when Delphine was born, Lucile raised two daughters largely alone. She was a former child model from a Bohemian family, younger and more glamorous than the other mothers: always in lipstick, wayward and wonderful. But as Delphine grew up, Lucile’s occasional sadness gave way to overwhelming despair and delusion. She became convinced she was telepathic, in control of the Paris metro system; she gave away all her money; she was hospitalized, medicated, and released in a kind of trance. Young Delphine was left to wonder: What changed her, or what shaped her all along?

In this brilliant investigation into her own family history, Delphine de Vigan attempts to “write her mother,” seeking out something essential as she interviews aging relatives, listens to recordings, and reads Lucile’s own writings. It is a history of luminous beauty and rambunctious joy, of dark secrets and silences. There are untimely deaths and failures of memory. There are revelations and there is the ultimately unknowable. And in the face of the unknowable, personal history becomes fiction: De Vigan must choose from differing accounts and fill in important gaps, using her writer’s imagination to reconstruct a life.

De Vigan writes her most expansive novel yet with acute self-awareness and marvelous sympathy. Nothing Holds Back the Night is a remarkable work, universally recognizable and singularly heartbreaking.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Delphine
de Vigan

Delphine de Vigan is the author of several novels, including Jolis Garçons, Soir de décembre and Les heures souterraines. No and Me, published simultaneously in young adult and adult editions by Bloomsbury in March 2010, and then in paperback in August 2010, is her first novel to be published in English; it was a bestseller in France, where it was awarded the Prix des Libraires (The Booksellers’ Prize) in 2008, and was also a bestseller in Italy.

Her second novel, Underground Time, published in April 2011 and in paperback in February 2012, is a novel of quiet violence – the violence of office-bullying, the violence of the brutality of the city – in which two characters move towards an inevitable meeting.

Delphine de Vigan is the author of several novels, including Jolis Garçons, Soir de décembre and Les heures souterraines. No and Me, published simultaneously in young adult and adult editions by Bloomsbury in March 2010, and then in paperback in August 2010, is her first novel to be published in English; it was a bestseller in France, where it was awarded the Prix des Libraires (The Booksellers’ Prize) in 2008, and was also a bestseller in Italy.

Her second novel, Underground Time, published in April 2011 and in paperback in February 2012, is a novel of quiet violence – the violence of office-bullying, the violence of the brutality of the city – in which two characters move towards an inevitable meeting.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR George
Miller

George Miller is the translator of No and Me and Underground Time by Delphine de Vigan. He is also a regular translator for Le Monde diplomatique's English-language edition and the translator of Disordered World by Amin Maalouf.
George Miller is the translator of No and Me and Underground Time by Delphine de Vigan. He is also a regular translator for Le Monde diplomatique's English-language edition and the translator of Disordered World by Amin Maalouf.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

This brilliant piece of reading, partly a biography and partly fiction, poignantly recounts an emotionally very fragile woman’s distressing life until the suicide. The author of the book strives to understand what led to to such a tragic end of life.

After the brutal death of her mother, Delphine de Vigan describes the person she was and what built her. This harrowing inquiry in to the heart of the familial memory reveals brighter memories as much as hidden secrets. Fascinating and very sensitive.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
31/07/2014
Country
France
Original Language
French
Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
Translator
George Miller
Translation
Translated from the original French by George Miller

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