French Fiction Fridays #6

August 9, 2013 | By Book Department

Things take a turn for the dark and disastrous in this sixth edition of our ongoing French Fiction Fridays series. The protagonist of At the Frontiers of Thirst by Kettly Mars is a Hatian author who struggles to hide his less than respectable habits. In the following excerpt, we are introduced to the refugee camp that shares and feeds his darkness, a place where people are driven by despair to put a price on everything. Éric Marty’s novel, The Chinese Girl’s Heart, locates its moral ambiguity in the actions of a group of French revolutionary extremists.

We hope you enjoy your first taste of these books and are inspired to go out and read more French fiction. Join us again next week for two more exciting new titles.

At the Frontiers of Thirst
by Kettly Mars

Synopsis: Haiti, January 2011. Following the dazzling success of his first book, Fito Belmar is living off the royalties and appears to be leading an orderly existence, punctuated by boozy
evenings with his friends and mistresses. But Fito is hiding a terrible secret: on certain nights,
he slips away to the camp known as Canaan, one of the sprawling refugee camps that multiplied in the wake of the 2010 earthquake— since grown into an immense slum—there to
pick up the young girls whom poverty forces to sell themselves to the highest bidder. Trying to suppress this dark side of his character, Fito finds himself helplessly returning to this place
of perdition.
When he welcomes Tatsumi, a Japanese journalist writing a report about Haiti, to the island, Fito feels threatened. If she discovers his secret, he will be lost. But Fito is not immune to the slender journalist’s charms … Could Tatsumi help him find a more enlightened way to live?
Kettly Mars turns her lucid gaze upon her native country, training the spotlight on the
implications of humanitarian aid. She weighs up the material and ethical consequences
of the earthquake: the dangerous levels of promiscuity, the prostitution of Haiti’s children, a world without moral compass, where everything becomes an object of consumption.

Read excerpt (English)
Read excerpt (French)

The Chinese Girl's Heart
by Eric Marty

Synopsis: A clandestine group of revolutionary extremists shock France with a series of abductions and murders, while deceiving the police and the media. With its equally terrifying and endearing, strong characters and the sublime figure of a young Chinese prostitute the novel reads first and foremost as an excellent thriller, full of plot twists, violence and suspense.
In addition, the more informed reader will find references to France’s intellectual and political life, spot certain ideologies and appreciate its caustic humour.

Read excerpt (English)
Read excerpt (French)

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