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Mend the Living

Mend the Living

Winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2017.

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016.

Now a major French film, REPARER LES VIVANTS/HEAL THE LIVING, directed by Katell Quillevere and starring Emmanuelle Seigner.

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.

5.50 a.m.

This is his heart.

And here is its story.

Translated from the French by Jessica Moore

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 23rd June 2016

Price: £8.99

ISBN-13: 9780857053855

Reviews

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
A novel that goes to the heart of what it means to be a human being
Independent
From its glorious 300-word first sentence to the stately canopic imagery of its climactic scenes, Mend the Living, beautifully translated from the French by Jessica Moore, mimics the rhythm of the processes it depicts - the troughs and peaks of grief and protocol, of skills utilised and acceptance finally achieved.
Guardian
A metaphorical and lyrical exploration of the journey of one heart and two bodies . . . Compelling, original and ambitious, this novel illuminates what it is to be human.
Val McDermid