The-Anomaly-by-Herve-Le-Tellier
2023 Longlist

The Anomaly

Translated from the original French by Adriana Hunter
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

A virtuoso novel where logic confronts magic and explores the part of ourselves that eludes us. In June 2021, a senseless event upends the lives of hundreds of men and women, all passengers on a flight from Paris to New York. Among them: Blake, a respectable family man, though he works as a contract killer; Slimboy, a Nigerian pop star tired of living a lie; Joanna, a formidable lawyer whose flaws have caught up with her; and Victor Miesel, a critically acclaimed yet commercially unsuccessful writer who suddenly becomes a cult hit. All of them believed they had double lives. None imagined just how true that was. This witty variation on the doppelgänger theme, which takes us on a journey from Lagos and Mumbai to the White House, is Hervé Le Tellier’s most ambitious work yet.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Hervé
Le Tellier

Hervé Le Tellier is a writer, journalist, mathematician, food critic, and teacher. Since 1992, he has been a member of the prestigious and experimental Oulipo group of writers and mathematicians, who work to push against the boundaries of form and structure.

At the age of 64, with a decades-long career and several novels, essay and short story collections to his name, The Anomaly is his breakout hit. In 2020, it was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt, and has sold over a million copies.

Hervé is known for his deft use of black humour. He is also a mathematician and the head of the international literary movement Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle : “workshop of potential literature”) alongside Jacques Roubaud and Harry Mathews.  Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec were also members. Their goal is to invent stylistic challenges and make a playful use of  words.

Hervé Le Tellier is a writer, journalist, mathematician, food critic, and teacher. Since 1992, he has been a member of the prestigious and experimental Oulipo group of writers and mathematicians, who work to push against the boundaries of form and structure.

At the age of 64, with a decades-long career and several novels, essay and short story collections to his name, The Anomaly is his breakout hit. In 2020, it was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt, and has sold over a million copies.

Hervé is known for his deft use of black humour. He is also a mathematician and the head of the international literary movement Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle : “workshop of potential literature”) alongside Jacques Roubaud and Harry Mathews.  Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec were also members. Their goal is to invent stylistic challenges and make a playful use of  words.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Adriana
Hunter

Adriana Hunter is an award-winning translator of French. Since “discovering” the first book she was to translate in 1998, she has translated more than 80 books, mostly works of literary fiction. She has won the Scott-Moncrieff prize and the French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation translation prize, and was shortlisted twice for the Independent foreign fiction prize (now the Man Booker international prize). In 2013, she won the 27th Annual Translation Prize founded by the French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation for her translation of Electrico W by Hervé Le Tellier (2013). She is also a contributor to Words Without Borders. She lives in Kent, England.

Adriana Hunter is an award-winning translator of French. Since “discovering” the first book she was to translate in 1998, she has translated more than 80 books, mostly works of literary fiction. She has won the Scott-Moncrieff prize and the French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation translation prize, and was shortlisted twice for the Independent foreign fiction prize (now the Man Booker international prize). In 2013, she won the 27th Annual Translation Prize founded by the French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation for her translation of Electrico W by Hervé Le Tellier (2013). She is also a contributor to Words Without Borders. She lives in Kent, England.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

In this highly original and inventive novel, Hervé le Tellier introduces his characters in chapters very different in tone to mix such genres as thriller, science-fiction, comedy or spy novel. These characters are gathered on a Paris-New-York plane facing a terrible storm but the pilot manages to get out of this mess. The thing is that the very same plane, with the same crew and passengers had already landed three months before. How can a flight duplicate ? This is such an unprecedented event defying all logic ! As a consequence, all the characters have to be prepared to meet with their doubles. A depressed writer, an American lawyer defending a pharmaceutical firm, a little girl with her pet frog, an architect, a hit man, all are then confronted with their own choices. To unveil the origin of this anomaly, the authorities have to call for experts, scientists, The FBI and the NSA. This part is particularly funny with such people as politicians, military men or religious representatives.

Though mostly entertaining in tone with its use of pastiche and satire, the novel also tackles darker issues such as homophobia in the world of hip hop, cancer, child abuse, intricate love affairs, unethical business. This puzzling speculative fiction with its spatio-temporal rift also questions our perception of reality and ourselves. Hervé Le Tellier is known for his deft use of black humour. He is also a mathematician and the head of the international literary movement Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle : “workshop of potential literature”) alongside Jacques Roubaud and Harry Mathews. Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec were also members. Their goal is to invent stylistic challenges and make a playful use of words.In this highly original and inventive novel, Hervé le Tellier introduces his characters in chapters very different in tone to mix such genres as thriller, science-fiction, comedy or spy novel. These characters are gathered on a Paris-New-York plane facing a terrible storm but the pilot manages to get out of this mess. The thing is that the very same plane, with the same crew and passengers had already landed three months before. How can a flight duplicate ? This is such an unprecedented event defying all logic ! As a consequence, all the characters have to be prepared to meet with their doubles. A depressed writer, an American lawyer defending a pharmaceutical firm, a little girl with her pet frog, an architect, a hit man, all are then confronted with their own choices. To unveil the origin of this anomaly, the authorities have to call for experts, scientists, The FBI and the NSA. This part is particularly funny with such people as politicians, military men or religious representatives. Though mostly entertaining in tone with its use of pastiche and satire, the novel also tackles darker issues such as homophobia in the world of hip hop, cancer, child abuse, intricate love affairs, unethical business. This puzzling speculative fiction with its spatio-temporal rift also questions our perception of reality and ourselves.

Bibliothèque publique d’Information, Paris, France

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
23/11/2021
Country
France
Original Language
French
Publisher
Other Press
Translator
Adriana Hunter
Translation
Translated from the original French by Adriana Hunter

RELATED FEATURES

Video May 8 2024

Alexis Wright – Praiseworthy Q&A

Q&A with Alexis Wright, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award in which she discusses her passion for libraries and explores the influences behind her novel Praiseworthy
Video May 8 2024

Mircea Cărtărescu – Solenoid Q&A

Q&A with Mircea Cărtărescu, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award for his novel Solenoid
Video May 8 2024

Emma Donoghue – Haven Q&A

Q&A with Emma Donoghue, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award for her novel Haven
Video May 8 2024

Suzette Mayr – The Sleeping Car Porter Q&A

Q&A with Suzette Mayr, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award for her novel The Sleeping Car Porter

STAY CONNECTED

Stay in touch and sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates on the Dublin Literary Award.