Translated by Chris Turner
5 x 8 inches, 264pp. April 2018
ISBN : 9780857424785
Rs 599.00 (HB)
Musician Ann Hidden suspects her partner, Thomas, isn’t telling her everything. So one dark night, she secretly follows him to an unfamiliar house in the Paris suburbs, where he disappears inside with an unknown woman. But before she can even begin to process what looks like a betrayal, she gets another surprise—an old schoolmate, Georges Roehlinger, appears, berating her for spying the from the bushes.
With Georges’s help, Ann takes radical action: while Thomas is away, she resolves to secretly sell their shared house and get rid of all the physical manifestations of their sixteen years together. Thomas returns to find her gone, the locks changed and his few possessions packed up and sent to his office. Ann, meanwhile, has fled the country and started a new, hidden life.
But our past is never that easy to escape, and Ann’s secrets eventually seek her out.
Pascal Quignard (b. 1948) studied philosophy at the University of Nanterre between 1966 and 1968, the crucible of the Paris ‘events’ of May 1968. Two novels—Le Salon du Wurtemberg (1986) and Les Escaliers de Chambord (1989)—published by Gallimard (for whom he worked in various capacities until 1994) brought him to the attention of a wide audience. In 1991, he published Tous les Matins du Monde (All the World’s Mornings), which was filmed by Alain Corneau with Jean-Pierre Marielle and Gérard Depardieu in leading roles. This work reflected Quignard’s intense musical activity, which included the presidency of the Versailles International Festival of Baroque Opera and Theatre. In 2002, Quignard won France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, with the first volume of his Dernier Royaume (Last Kingdom) series, Les ombres errantes—a controversial choice, as it was the first work of non-fiction to win the prize. Quignard has more than 60 other titles to his name and is widely regarded as one of the foremost literary French writers today.
Chris Turner is a writer and translator who lives in Birmingham, England.