A primal tale of cruelty and redemption
The family farm has run to ruin. Rafael’s father has abandoned them. His older brothers, the twins Mauro and Joaquin, blame Rafael for their father’s departure and exact revenge on their baby brother. Steban, Rafael’s other sibling, is a simpleton whose affections and allegiances change with the shifting winds. Ruling over this dysfunctional roost is a tyrannical and avaricious mother.
There is nothing bucolic about existence on a dilapidated farm on the lonely Patagonian steppe. Life is ruthless, unforgiving, and bloody. As the family tensions mount, daily life degenerates into open warfare, revealing dark truths about the human soul.
For readers of Coetzee’s Disgrace, the writing of Dorothy Alison, and the southern gothic of William Faulkner, Nothing but Dust is a gripping, unsentimental, ultimately majestic story about life in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth.
“A combination of South American Western and noir, Nothing But Dust has airs of Faulknerian tragedy in full Argentinian heat. A vicious circle of cruelty and redemption.”—Lire
“[Sandrine Collette] has a gift. The gift to lose herself in unknown, inhospitable lands and, as if by magic, to bring forth from them the harshest bitterness and the most firmly hidden beauty.”—L’Express
“A claustrophobic drama placed in a setting both hostile and sublime.”—Biblioteca Magazine
“The novel’s descriptions of nature are at times exalted, at others coldly descriptive—but in spite of the severity that dominates the setting, in Collette’s prose, the young Rafael is a radiant hero.”—Télérama
Sandrine Collette was born in Paris in 1970. She divides her time between Nanterre, where she teaches philosophy and literature, and Burgundy, where she has a horse stud. She is the author of numerous novels. Nothing but Dust, winner of the Landerneau Prize for crime fiction, is her English language debut.