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Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel


Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel

Traumatized by memories of his war-ravaged country, and with his son and daughter-in-law dead, Monsieur Linh travels to a foreign land to bring the child in his arms to safety. The other refugees in the detention centre are unsure how to help the old man; his caseworkers are compassionate, but overworked. Monsieur Linh struggles beneath the weight of his sorrow, and becomes increasingly bewildered and isolated in this unfamiliar, fast-moving town. And then he encounters Monsieur Bark. They do not speak each other's language, but Monsieur Bark is sympathetic to the foreigner's need to care for the child. Recently widowed and equally alone, he is eager to talk, and Monsieur Linh knows how to listen. The two men share their solitude, and find friendship in an unlikely dialogue between two very different cultures. Monsieur Linh and His Child is a remarkable novel with an extraordinary twist, a subtle portrait of friendship and a dialogue between two cultures.


'There is nothing sentimental about the prose, which is as restrained and delicate as a piece of Indochinese artwork'
Ophelia Field, Guardian

. * Guardian * 'Like all good fables, it conveys the sense of a greater significance beyond itself
Daniel Hahn, Independent

. * Independent * 'An exquisitely crafted little gem of a book
Rebecca Isherwood, Skinny

. * Skinny * 'Exquisite
Allan Massie, Scotsman

. * Scotsman * 'Claudel maintains a simplicity and sensitivity throughout the book, mirroring the compassion and sympathy that the men share for each other
Irish Times

. * Irish Times * 'This is an extraordinary, powerful and moving novel of the refugee experience ... Highly recommended
Sarah Bower, Historical Novels Society

. * Historical Novels Society * 'A delicately sympathetic portrayal of trauma, as well as a poignant evocation of guilt
Maya Jaggi, Guardian

. * Guardian * 'an impossibly elegant novel, one that makes you sort of wistful at the beauty of the words and their meaning
Black Sheep Dances

. * Black Sheep Dances *

About the Author

Philippe Claudel is a novelist, film director and university lecturer. He is the author of Grey Souls, Brodeck's Report, Monsieur Linh and His Child and The Investigation and was appointed to l'Academie Goncourt in 2012. Euan Cameron's translations include works by Julien Green, Simone de Beauvoir and Paul Morand, biographies of Marcel Proust and Irene Nemirovsky.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd February 2012


Philippe Claudel

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Author's Website


MacLehose Press an imprint of Quercus Publishing


144 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Fiction in translation



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