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18 April 2023
Longlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize.

Buried deep in rural France, little remains of the isolated hamlet of the Three Lone Girls, save a few houses and a curiously assembled quartet: Patrice Bergogne, inheritor of his family's farm; his wife, Marion; their daughter, Ida; and their neighbour, Christine, an artist. While Patrice plans a surprise for his wife's fortieth birthday, inexplicable events start to disrupt the hamlet's quiet existence: anonymous, menacing letters, an unfamiliar car rolling up the driveway. And as night falls, strangers stalk the houses, unleashing a nightmarish chain of events.

Told in rhythmic, propulsive prose that weaves seamlessly from one consciousness to the next over the course of a day, Laurent Mauvignier's The Birthday Party is a deft unravelling of the stories we hide from others and from ourselves, a gripping tale of the violent irruptions of the past into the present, written by a major contemporary French writer.
Translated by:  
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 125mm, 
ISBN:   9781804270226
ISBN 10:   1804270229
Pages:   504
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Laurent Mauvignier was born in Tours in 1967. He gained a degree in Fine Art from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1991, and published his first novel, Loin d'eux [Far from Them], in 1999. He has since written numerous novels, including In the Crowd (2006), The Wound (2009) and Continuer [Carrying On] (2018), all published by Editions de Minuit, and is the winner of eleven literary prizes, including the Prix Wepler and the Prix Amerigo-Vespucci. He is also a playwright and has written scripts for TV and film. The Birthday Party is his first book with Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Reviews for The Birthday Party

'One of France's most talented writers.' - France Today 'It is truly a great book: enthralling, impressive and fascinating in its literary methods.... I was totally captivated by its sentences that build up pleasure, terror and anxiety, their long, slow rhythms that create its dynamic and tension just as much as the situation itself.' - Jean-Claude Raspiengeas, Le Masque et la Plume 'What matters, as always in Mauvignier's work, is giving a voice to the voiceless, the worthless, the unloved, the humiliated, even if this is done with unprecedented violence. For on this isolated farm where the drama is played out, the aggressors and the victims are more alike than we might think. All of them settle their scores with a destiny that has wronged them.' - Jerome Garcin, BibliObs '[I]t is Mauvignier's writing, his undulating sentences, that makes this novel an exceptional work, and elevates this forgotten France to the rank of literary subject.' - Sylvie Tanette, Les Inrockuptibles 'Each of his books produce the same shock; the shock of the magnificence of his language, which, like a tidal wave, slices its sentences in the middle of a line, then lets them crash onto the page; the shock of the force of his characters torn apart by trauma, dragged into a rush of events beyond their control ... The Birthday Party is a thriller about the pretences that coat every life.' - Martine Landrot, Telerama ' - '' -

  • Short-listed for Man Booker International Prize 2023

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