From fatal accident to life-saving operation, Maylis de Kerangal, one of the brightest and boldest writers of modern literary fiction, returns with the epic story of a heart transplant.
Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016
A twenty-four-hour whirlwind of death and life.
In the depths of a winter's night, the heart of Simon Limbeau is resting, readying itself for the day to come. In a few hours' time, just before six, his alarm will go off and he will venture into the freezing dawn, drive down to the beach, and go surfing with his friends. A trip he has made a hundred times and yet, today, the heart of Simon Limbeau will encounter a very different course.
But for now, the black-box of his body is free to leap, swell, melt and sink, just as it has throughout the years of Simon's young life.
This is his heart.
And here is its story.
This breathless novel has all the beauty of a Greek tragedy. It is also a hymn to creation and a meditation on the relationship between the body and consciousness, life and death. - Figaro
Far from being the simple tale of a heart transplant, this novel is a true epic, a great modern saga that investigates our relationship with death as much as our relationship with language. - Lire
A true novel, a great novel, an extraordinary novel. - Journal du Dimanche
Maylis de Kerangal navigates perfectly between the epic and the intimate; let's just say that her writing will shake you to your very core. - Elle
Heartbreaking; I've seldom read a more moving book... De Kerangal is a master of momentum, to the extent that when the book ends, the reader feels bereft. She shows that narratives around illness and pain can energize the nobler angels of our nature and make for profoundly lovely art. One longs for more - Guardian
A thrilling opening sequence, well-suited to her urgent, breathless, visceral prose ... this extraordinary novel etches itself in the mind ... There is a flamboyant artistry at work, yet Maylis de Kerangal is confronting a reality that is all too real - Irish Times
The story unfolds in an intricate lacework of precise detail. These characters feel less like fictional creations and more like ordinary people, briefly illuminated in rich language ... an exploration not only of death but of life, of humanity and fragility - New York Review of Books
Among the most fascinating writers of her generation. With Mend the Living, Maylis de Kerangal attains even greater heights - Le Monde
Maylis de Kerangal spent her childhood in Le Havre, France. Her novel, Birth of a Bridge, was the winner of the Prix Franz Hessel and Prix Medicis in 2010. In 2014, her fifth novel, Mend the Living, was published to wide acclaim in France, winning the Grand Prix RTL-Lire award and the student choice novel of the year from France Culture and Telerama. In the UK, Mend the Living was longlisted for the Booker International Prize in 2016, and won the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017 - only the second novel and the first work in translation ever to do so.