Birth of a Bridge
By Maylis de Kerangal and Maylis de Kerangal
The multi-award-winning compact epic of passion, ambition and the American Dream.
Coca, Southern California. A small town on a wild river, at the margins of the red-rocked desert and the forest where the last of the state's Native Americans still make their home.
When Boa, the charismatic new mayor, decides to put Coca on the map, he plans a monumental new project: a six-lane bridge, two hundred metres high, designed and destined to catapult the city into the third millennium.
Workers from across the globe flock to California: to earn a living, to escape their pasts, to bear witness to man's mastery of nature. But the project's majestic scope has no regard for the legacy of this ancient land, and within this monochrome Babel festers a very human cocktail of fears and passions.
At once timeless and yet exquisitely of its moment, Maylis De Kerangal's multi-award-winning novel follows its broad cast of construction workers and architects, diggers and dreamers, as they navigate both the intricacies of their project and the depths of the human heart.
Translated from the French by Jessica Moore
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 Médicis in 2010. Her novella Tangente vers l'est was the winner of the 2012 Prix Landerneau. In 2014, her fifth novel, Mend the Living (Réparer les vivants), was published to wide acclaim, winning the Grand Prix RTL-Lire award and the student choice novel of the year from France Culture and Télèrama. It was long listed for the Man Booker International Prize in 2015.
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- Publication date:
18 May 2017
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One of the most original and exciting writers to have come from France in the last few years — Jonathan Coe
Maylis de Kerangal's extraordinary novel is her first book to be translated into English. Hopefully we will not have to wait long for more. — J.S. Tennant, Independent
Astonishing writing ... an original, laconic, astute and relentlessly topical morality tale that scores several direct hits — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
'A literary explosion' Marine Landrot, Télérama. — Télérama
A magnificent novel ... The book's themes are mythic; it's prose, symphonic — M.A.C. Farrant, Vancouver Sun
This delightful book's unabashed idealism marks it as a kind of aspirational fairy tale — Sam Sachs, Wall Street Journal
Moore's translation is elegant and sensitively attuned to the author's wordplay and neologisms — Kirkus Reviews