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What You Need from the Night: A Novel (Paperback)

What You Need from the Night: A Novel By Laurent Petitmangin, Shaun Whiteside (Translated by) Cover Image
By Laurent Petitmangin, Shaun Whiteside (Translated by)
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A CrimeReads Best International Fiction Book of Fall 2023

A powerful, intimate portrait of grief and radicalization that grapples with the conundrum of having loved ones we no longer recognize.

After the death of his wife, a father raises his two sons alone. His bond with Fus, the elder, and Gillou, the younger, is a close one. But their town is not a place of opportunity, and it soon becomes clear that the boys are heading down different paths. Gillou sets his sights on university in Paris. Fus, despite his socialist upbringing, falls in with the local far-right group. Though he joins mostly for the camaraderie, their activities, which might on the surface appear harmless, lead to a violent confrontation.

How can a father and son find common ground when everything seems set to break them apart? A sudden tragedy will force them to find an answer.

Tense, sharp, and ultimately heartbreaking, What You Need from the Night asks what acts can truly be forgiven, and shines a spotlight on the forgotten corners of a country where white supremacy has taken hold much like in the US.

About the Author

Laurent Petitmangin was born in 1965 in the east of France into a family of railway workers. He has received numerous literary prizes in France for his writing, including the Prix Femina des lycéens, the Prix Stanislas, Grand Prix du premier roman, as well as numerous readers’ prizes. What You Need from the Night is his debut novel.

Shaun Whiteside has translated more than fifty books from German, French, Italian, and Dutch, including Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq, Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler, The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink, and Magdalene the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger, which won him the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for German Translation in 1997.

Praise For…

“A triumph of tamped power and unsutured emotion…one of the most exquisite debuts I’ve read for some time.” —The Telegraph
“Petitmangin’s deeply affecting and haunting novel explores paternal love, responsibility, and forgiveness.” —The Guardian

“Petitmangin is at his best, twisting the tether between the two men so tight that its center begins to buckle…one sees much promise in the sensitivity Petitmangin shows to the family at the heart of this quiet tragedy.” —Times Literary Supplement

“A fascinating portrait of politics tearing a family apart, and a haunting noir about the ways in which love competes with morality.” —CrimeReads, The Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of the Season

“A short blast of a novel: a howl of pain, impotence, and rage. The prose, fluently translated by Shaun Whiteside, is precise and unadorned…it reflects the urgency of its subject.” —The Spectator

“Heartbreaking…haunts you long after you’ve put it down.” —Libération

“A tragedy of unconditional love.” —L’Obs

“As sublime as it is painful.” —Le Parisien
Product Details
ISBN: 9781635423501
ISBN-10: 1635423503
Publisher: Other Press
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Pages: 160
Language: English