Join us for a reading with Laurent Gaude, author of Hear Our Defeats at City Lit Books on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 at 5:00 PM
Timely and provocative, Hear Our Defeats is a novel about the battles that define us. The battles lost, won, and those still being fought.
A French intelligence officer, Assem, is tasked with tracking down a former member of the U.S. Special Forces suspected of drug trafficking during the War in Afghanistan. En route to Beirut he shares a night with Miriam, an Iraqi archaeologist, who is in a race against time to save ancient artifacts across the Middle East from the destruction wreaked by ISIS.
Woven into these two forceful, gripping storylines are stylish meditations on humankind’s bellicose history: Hannibal’s failed march on Rome and the burning of his fleet on the waters of the Mediterranean; Grant’s pursuit of the Confederates into rural Virginia; Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; and Emperor Haile Selassie’s swift retreat from Ethiopia. All turning points in world history, each showing a different facet of how nations and individuals face defeat.
Gaudé writes with a riveting immediacy, seamlessly taking the reader across the battlefields of our past to reflect upon the implications of conflicts being waged today.
"Hear Our Defeats smells of blood and gunpowder - yet we follow Gaudé and his characters into their respective hells. He is a shrewd novelist: his prose pleases through élan and a persuasive affinity for its subject - but something else is bleeding out." --Ron Slate
Laurent Gaudé is a multi-award-winning novelist and playwright. His first theatre show, Combat de possédés (1999), has been played in Germany and read at the Royal National Theatre. He is best known for La Mort du roi Tsongor (2003) for which he won the Prix Goncourt des lycéens and the Prix des libraires, and Le Soleil des Scorta (2004), honored by the Prix Jean Giono and the Prix Goncourt. He lives in Paris.
Alison Anderson translated the book. Her translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She is the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery.