Rights sold to: The Netherlands (De Bezige Bij), Germany (Kindler), Italy (Ponte alle Grazie), Portugal (Asa), Spain (Salamandra), Catalonia (RBA), China (Nanjing Yilin), Taiwan (Ecus), Korea (Media 2.0), Sweden (Norstedts), Finland (Otava), Denmark (Arvids), Turkey (Dogan), Japan (Misuzu Shobo), Greece (Psychogios), Poland (Czytelnik), Vietnam (Nha Xuat Ban Phu Nu), Bulgaria (Prosorets), and Thailand (Sanskrit).
Mr Linh is an old man. He left his war-devastated village with only a small suitcase containing a few worn clothes, a yellowing photograph, and a handful of earth from his homeland. In his arms, he cradles a newborn baby. Sang Diû’s parents are dead, and Mr Linh has decided to take her, his granddaughter, with him. After a long boat journey, they arrive in a cold grey city crowded with hundreds of refugees.
Mr Linh has lost everything. From now on, he has to share a room with other displaced people, people who mock him for his clumsiness. In this town where everyone ignores everyone else, he nevertheless finds a friend in Mr Bark, a fat, solitary man. They do not speak the same language, yet they understand the musicality of words and the subtle language of gestures. Mr Linh is a pure heart, wounded by wars and losses, who lives only for his grand-daughter. Philippe Claudel treats his characters with graceful respect. His book celebrates universal themes – friendship, compassion – with the elegance and transparency of the great classics of literature.
Philippe Claudel is the author of Les âmes grises, which was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 2003 and which is translated into thirty languages, and of La petite fille de Monsieur Linh (Stock, 2005). His novel Le rapport de Brodeck was awarded the Prix Goncourt des lycéens in 2007. Illustrated with shooting stills, Petite fabrique des rêves et des réalités includes the script of Philippe Claudel’s first film, Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, out in cinemas in France on March 19 2008, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein.