Connemara: A Novel (Paperback)

Connemara: A Novel By Nicolas Mathieu, Sam Taylor (Translated by) Cover Image

Connemara: A Novel (Paperback)

By Nicolas Mathieu, Sam Taylor (Translated by)


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A breathtaking story of unfulfilled dreams, unexpected second chances, and love in a present-day France turning against itself, from the Goncourt Prize–winning author of And Their Children After Them.

Hélène is approaching 40. Born in a small town in the east of France, she worked hard to leave it behind and achieve a life worthy of the glossy magazines she pored over as a teen. But now that she seemingly has it all—a husband and two daughters, a successful career, and a custom-designed house near Nancy—she feels unfulfilled, as though the years have passed her by.

Christophe just turned 40 and has never left his little corner of France, where he grew up with Hélène. No longer as handsome as he used to be, he’s led an unassuming life, preferring to party with friends than to apply himself. These days, he’s selling dog food, dreaming of playing hockey again like he did when he was 16, and living with his father and son—a quiet, indecisive existence, which could be seen as failure. And yet he fully believes that anything is still possible.

Through the story of how their two disparate lives intersect once more, Connemara beautifully evokes the complex pain and joy of returning to your roots, and trying to make a relationship last in a rapidly changing, increasingly divided country.
Nicolas Mathieu was born in Épinal, France, in 1978. His first novel, Aux animaux la guerre, was published in 2014 and adapted for television by Alain Tasma in 2018. He is the author of And Their Children After Them (Other Press, 2020), for which he received the Goncourt Prize, France’s most prestigious literary award, and Rose Royal (Other Press, 2022). He lives in Nancy.

Sam Taylor is an award-winning literary translator and novelist. He has translated more than sixty books from French, including Laurent Binet’s HHhH and Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny, and his four novels have been translated into ten languages. He was born in England, spent ten years in France, and now lives in the United States.
Product Details ISBN: 9781635423563
ISBN-10: 1635423562
Publisher: Other Press
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 464
Language: English
Connemara illuminates a clash of values and visions in contemporary France…Mathieu knows how to take us from a small-town hockey match to a corporate boardroom.” —New York Times Book Review

“A French woman’s midlife crisis sets her off on a quest to recover the spirit of her youth in this pulsing novel of desire…Mathieu makes life’s emotional precariousness and fading glory palpable.” —Publishers Weekly

“In Connemara, Nicolas Mathieu weaves magic out of the everyday and brilliantly evokes and explores the things that unite and divide us. It’s a beautiful book about aging and mortality, work and parenthood, nostalgia and yearning, and contemporary life in a changing France. A masterful study of human frailty. Mathieu is one of my favorite writers, and Sam Taylor’s translation is elegant.” —William Boyle, author of Shoot the Moonlight Out, City of Margins, and Gravesend

Connemara is a flawless pas de deux between the incandescence of adolescence and the tremors of midlife desires, and is also an intimate commentary on the social anxieties of success that are twined with the complexities of class. Nicolas Mathieu is a master in tracing the flattening forces of neoliberalism on small towns everywhere.” —Kerri Arsenault, author of Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains