“A woman and her child are banished from the village.
A militant expelled from the Communist Party is readmitted when Alzheimer’s comes knocking at his door, retrieving his memory just as he loses it.
A diamond that brings bad luck, the sound of boots tramping in pursuit.
Scholars and shepherds, heroes and nobodies.
The Excommunicated, excluded, executed, exterminated, exiled and exploited: all these jovial, live and well ghosts gathered around a cradle – mine. Hardly surprising I’m frightened. You think you’re going to escape death. And then one day in pouring rain on a Brittany motorway, you catch yourself there in the comfort of your car, telling yourself the story you thought you would never want to hear again.”
In a tempestuous Twentieth Century, a true story told like fiction, the story of a unique and surprising family. The author takes us from Turin to Istanbul, from Pittsburgh to the Jura, amidst the terror and banishment of very colourful characters who never lose their spark of humour and life, like mischievous elves dancing on a volcano.
Laurent Carpentier is a reporter for the culture department of Le Monde. With the glaciologist and pioneering Antarctic explorer Claude Lorius, he co-wrote Voyage dans l'anthropocène, cette nouvelle ère dont vous êtes les héros (Actes Sud). The Banished is his first novel.