A thrilling mix of French noir and American Western that charts a family’s struggle for freedom and justice in a hostile mountain community.
In the godforsaken valley of the Black Rimstone, four siblings meet by the viaduct, a place of their own away from home and daily life, which hold so little for them: Mark, who reads in secret against his father’s orders; Matthew, who understands the forest, the river, and all their creatures; Mabel, who wields her stunning beauty in pursuit of pleasure and independence; and Luke, so often pitied and dismissed as simpleminded, but whose fantastic dreams reveal an uncommon wisdom. Together they live as one, bound by an unshakable bond. Hanging over them, and the rest of the valley, is the bleak prospect of work in the power plant, constructed and controlled by the fearsome Joyce. Having arrived a stranger, he owned the entire town within ten years, and now keeps a stranglehold on it through money and violence. But after generations are used and spit out in service of one man’s greed, there comes a breaking point. Winner of the Prix Jean Giono, this masterful, parable-like novel bears witness to the power of nature and the promise of rebellion.
About the Author
Franck Bouysse was born in France in 1965. He began his writing career in 2007 after working as a biology teacher. His previous novel, Born of No Woman (Other Press, 2021), has won numerous literary prizes in France, including the Elle Readers’ Grand Prize, the Booksellers’ Prize, and the Prix Babelio.
Chris Clarke has translated work by Raymond Queneau, Pierre Mac Orlan, Éric Chevillard, and Ryad Girod, among others. He was awarded the French-American Foundation Translation Prize for fiction in 2019 for his translation of Marcel Schwob’s Imaginary Lives. Two years earlier he was a finalist for the same prize for his translation of Patrick Modiano’s In the Café of Lost Youth.
“Though set in a rural village in mid-twentieth-century France, Wind Drinkers has such depths and incantatory powers that it is both of a time and timeless. Franck Bouysse’s talent is such that his characters’ seemingly humble lives achieve an epic resonance as they reveal the profoundest complexities of the human heart. A marvelous novel: ambitious, poetic, and unforgettable.” —Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and Above the Waterfall
“An exemplary tale of control, coercion, and dark cravings, of love and loyalties challenged by the status quo. With a plethora of fascinating characters, and sentences of immense beauty, Bouysse is, without a doubt, a novelist of extraordinary talents.” —Donna Everhart, author of The Saints of Swallow Hill
Praise for Born of No Woman:
“This book feels like the Marquis de Sade’s Justine if Justine had written it…show[ing] the author’s keen observational skills when it comes to class and gender.” —CrimeReads, Best International Crime Fiction of the Month
“Undoubtedly effective…There are plenty of narrative surprises as Rose’s father seeks to recover her, and she falls in love with the mysterious Edmond.” —The Guardian, The Best New Fiction in Translation