From the author of Underground Time, Delphine de Vigan, a novel based on her investigation into the life of her mercurial mother, in the wake of her suicide
Delphine de Vigan is the author of No and Me, which was a bestseller in France (400,000 copies) and was awarded the Prix des Libraires (The Booksellers' Prize) in 2008 and in Britain was a Richard and Judy selection where it has sold more than 70,000 copies. Her other novels include Les Jolis Garcons and Soir de decembre. Underground Time was shortlisted for the Goncourt Prize in 2009. Her books have been translated into twenty-five languages. She lives in Paris. George Miller is the translator of No and Me and Underground Time. He is also a regular translator for Le Monde diplomatique's English-language edition, and the translator of Conversations with my Gardener by Henri Cueco, Inside Al-Qaeda by Mohammed Sifaoui and Disordered World by Amin Maalouf.
An unsettling and raw monologue, even more so because of the cool
control de Vigan sustains ... The only way to read this book is to
stop, put it down, gasp, absorb the horrors and then read on.
Shortlisted for eight major literary awards in France, it won two,
and it is easy to see why. It is an overpowering work, almost
impossible to assess because of the extreme behaviour described ...
[will] leave a reader shaken and affected. How many books can do
that? * Eileen Battersby, Irish Times *
Delphine de Vigan is a sensation * Observer *
Thrilling, tender ... A genuinely shocking, incandescent read * Janice Galloway, Scotland on Sunday *
Compassionate and powerful, as well as painful and shocking ... The luminous accuracy of the prose reminds me of Colette ... the Poirier family - parents and children - appear in a kind of Renoir sunlight, overflowing with life and vibrant personalities, almost enough to conceal the lurking darkness * Ursula Le Guin, Guardian *
Absolutely stunning. This remarkable book is not a memoir, a biography, an analysis or a novel: it is all these and more. It is about the struggle to weave sense out of mutinous threads, how silence breeds crisis, how we are made and unmade. "Gauging the extent of the mystery" that was her mother, de Vigan strips the psychodrama of family ties - the basis of every human life - to the bone * Janice Galloway *
De Vigan never spares her own self-absorption in her repellently irresistible investigation of a life that amounted to symphonic self-destruction yet achieved a bizarre and compelling heroism * Eileen Battersby, Irish Times Books of the Year *