The voice of a generation: an immersive, nostalgic novel recalling the long, sultry summers of the 1990s from a hot new talent and the winner of the Goncourt Prize
August 1992. Fourteen-year-old Anthony and his cousin decide to steal a canoe to fight their all-consuming boredom on a lazy summer afternoon. Their simple act of defiance will lead to Anthony's first love and his first real summer - that one summer that comes to define everything that follows.
Over four sultry summers in the 1990s, Anthony and his friends grow up in a France trapped between nostalgia and decline, decency and rage, desperate to escape their small town, the scarred countryside and grey council estates, for a more hopeful future.
Winner of the Goncourt Prize and praised for its portrayal of people living on the margins of French society, Nicolas Mathieu's eloquent novel becomes a mirror for the struggles of society today.
Nicolas Mathieu was born in 1978 in Epinal, a small town in north-eastern France. After studying history and cinema, he moved to Paris, where he worked variously as a scriptwriter, a news editor, a private tutor, and a temp in the town hall. His first novel Aux Animaux La Guerre won the Erckmann-Chatrian prize, the Transfuge prize and the critics' award at the Prix Mystere. His second novel, And Their Children After Them, was published to universal acclaim in 2018 and won various prizes including the most coveted prize in France, the Prix Goncourt. He lives in Nancy.