ON THE SEVENTH DAY
Longlisted for 2016 Goncourt
Rights sold to Italy and Albania
On discovering the woman he loves, Camille, in a coma, Thomas is thrown into an incomprehensible tragedy - the inexplicable accident, the unexpected route, a SatNav with strange instructions. What’s been going on? He then has to tackle the hospital and its maze of corridors, his children and their grief, his boss, his co-workers and their perversities. Who wouldn’t succumb?
Through Thomas' eyes, keeping pace with his accelerated breathing in this maelstrom, we enter into the story of a young man, for whom all was going swimmingly and who now has to struggle. He's a father, brother and son. He is a father to Anton and Elsa whose carefree lives have abruptly ended. He is a brother to Jean, a goat farmer in the Pyrenees with a brutal and generous demeanour. He is also a brother to Pauline, who, for some unknown reason, has fled to sub-Saharan Africa. He is a son to Aurélie, who died mysteriously. And when Thomas wanders from Le Havre to Paris, from the Pyrenees to Cameroon, each journey across the landscapes illuminates a facet of his story.
A tale of a young man’s catastrophe acquires a universal character: it is as if we too are struck down by this devastating fate, by moments of hope, by anger, and by the need, despite it all, to live.
Luc Lang’s breathtaking novel, which travels through lands and secrets, is astonishing in its ambition. A great "American novel".
Luc Lang is the author of a dozen books, collections of news articles, essays on contemporary arts and literature, of which Mille six cents ventres (Strange Ways, prix Goncourt for studettes un 1998), La Fin des paysages (2006), Mother 2012) and L'Autoroute (2014).