Rights sold to Poland (Dialog)
Cédric Gras’s book is an invitation to a delightful exercise in “narrative geography”. A freezing peregrination in the depths of eastern-most Russia where he spent six weeks travelling through this land “with a luminous future” in search of a never-ending autumn. Three times now his itinerary has been dictated by a “hunt for autumn leaves” between 56 and 43 degrees north, between Irkutsk and Vladivostok. Along the way, he stepped back in time and lived alongside the Buryats and the Mandchu who long ago strayed into this land where “living there killed you.” He listened to the ghosts of a painful past burdened with the secret of a gulag, and exchanged ideas with an ethical population abandoned by the great cycle of history.
Deep in Yakutia, on the banks of the River Amur, at the furthest point on the island of Sakhalin, he followed in the footsteps of Joseph Kessel and Blaise Cendrars, who for a time were also lost in this longed-for El Dorado, pursuing a literature that tolerates anything but narrow-mindedness.
Cédric Gras is 32 and lives in Kiev. He studied geography in Paris, Montreal and New Delhi, and taught in Vladivostok before being involved in setting up the French Institute in Donetsk. He has had three books published by Phébus (Vladivostok, Le Nord, c’est l’Est and Le Cœur des confins).
Au coeur de territoires dont les noms sont autant de promesses de rêves, et parfois de terribles désillusions, il dialogue avec les fantômes de l’épopée tsariste, trinque avec les derniers du progrès soviétique, et raconte la Russie pacifique contemporaine. Aux confins du pays, au bord de l’Orient, le voici qui s’avance sur les traces des grands voyageurs.