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And Their Children After Them: 'A page-turner of a novel' New York Times

Nicolas Mathieu

6 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction in translation

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

'[A] page-turner of a novel . . . I couldn't put the book down' - New York Times

'A multi-viewpoint panorama of thwarted aspirations, spiced with breathy sex scenes and nostalgic detail.' - Mail on Sunday

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, in search of a more hopeful future.

Nicolas Mathieu's eloquent novel gives a pitch-perfect depiction of teenage angst. Winner of the Prix Goncourt, it won praise for its portrayal of people living on the margins and shines a light on the struggles of French society today.

'Deeply felt . . . An exceptional portrait of youth' - Irish Times

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Praise for And Their Children After Them: 'A page-turner of a novel' New York Times

  • Mathieu won France's prestigious Goncourt prize for this absorbing Nineties narrative set in a French valley community left stranded by the decline of industry . . . a multi-viewpoint panorama of thwarted aspirations, spiced with breathy sex scenes and nostalgic detail. - Mail on Sunday

  • And Their Children After Them . . . finds space too for beauty, for tenderness, for hope . . . you might think of a Ken Loach movie with a soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen . . . an elegiac anthem' - Financial Times

  • The plot, involving drug dealing and simmering violence . . . keeps you turning the pages. - Sunday Times

  • [A] page-turner of a novel . . . I couldn't put the book down - New York Times

  • Mathieu captures the vulnerability and awkwardness of adolescence with painful acuity . . . A gritty, expansive coming-of-age novel filled with sex and violence that manages to be tender, even wryly hopeful - Kirkus Reviews

  • Mathieu's stunning, bittersweet Prix Goncourt-winning English debut . . . will enrapture readers and appeal to fans of Edouard Louis. - Publishers Weekly

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Nicolas Mathieu

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.

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