Gérard de

He is the bestselling author of nearly 80 books. His work has been translated into 25 languages and he has won many literary prizes, including the Renaudot Prize in 2002 for his historical novel Assam (published by Albin Michel). A member of the Belgian Royal Academy of French Language and Literature, as Colette and Cocteau were before him, he is a staunch defender of the French language. His latest book, L’An prochain à Grenade (Next Year in Grenada), is an epic ode to tolerance and brotherhood.

The novel

15 seconds to die

Gérard de Cortanze Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa

In the autumn of 1958, rewarded by his superiors for having perfected a process to transform amorphous carbon into graphite, my father became the engineer in the Carbone Lorraine factory in Gennevilliers. In the months that followed, I discovered a city within a city, with its own streets, houses, plazas, street signs, its own laws and taboos. On Sundays, I would wander through this vast industrial landscape sprawled over two suddenly deserted hectares and dotted with drowsy metal monsters and fierce-looking scaffolding now tamely sleeping. I wandered through a dead city whose streets were littered with dinosaur corpses and reclining robots, their jaws agape. An occasional worker might pass by, wearing a hard hat and boots, hands protected by thick gloves. Lights blinked here and there amid intermittent bursts of steam, while in the background there was constant noise, a strange mix of snores, shrill rattles, growls, and other quieter, more muffled sounds. “Do you want to see my office?”…

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