2023 International Booker Prize, Longlist
New York Times Editors' Choice
"A real-time study in crippling self-consciousness, the fragility of normalcy, and the reality of violence."--The New York Times
Buried deep in rural France, little remains of the isolated hamlet of the Three Lone Girls, save a few houses and a curiously assembled quartet: Patrice Bergogne, inheritor of his family's farm; his wife, Marion; their daughter, Ida; and their neighbor, Christine, an artist. While Patrice plans a surprise for his wife's fortieth birthday, inexplicable events start to disrupt the hamlet's quiet existence: anonymous, menacing letters, an unfamiliar
car rolling up the driveway. And as night falls, strangers stalk the houses, unleashing
a nightmarish chain of events.
Told in rhythmic, propulsive prose that weaves seamlessly from one consciousness to the next over the course of a day, Laurent Mauvignier's The Birthday Party is a deft unraveling of the stories we hide from others and from ourselves, a gripping tale of the violent irruptions of the past into the present, written by a major contemporary French writer.
About the Author
Laurent Mauvignier was born in Tours in 1967. He is the author of several novels in French and is the winner of four literary prizes, including the Prix Wepler. Daniel Levin Becker is an American writer, translator and musical critic. He is the youngest member of the Oulipo.