A French intelligence officer, Assem, is tasked with tracking down a former member of the US 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 artefacts across the Middle East from the terrorist group ISIS.
Woven into these two forceful, gripping storylines are scenes from humanity’s bellicose past: 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 Appomatox Courthouse; and Emperor Haile Selassie’s exile from his country of Ethiopia. All turning points in world history, each showing a will to continue in the face of defeat.
Gaudé writes with a gripping immediacy, seamlessly taking the reader across the battlefields of our past to reflect upon the implications of conflicts being waged today.
Laurent Gaudé is a French novelist and playwright. After being nominated for the 2002 Prix Concourt with The Death of King Tsongor, he won the award in 2004 for his novel The Sun of the Scorta.