The Son of Man

The Son of Man

From the author of the "extraordinary" Animalia (Sunday Times), winner of the Republic of Consciousness Prize and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and Best Translated Book Award, a blazing new novel exploring nature, family, and violence, set on a hostile and glorious mountainside haunted by transgressions of the past

In the soft morning light, a man, a woman, and a child drive beyond the borders of a sleepy French post-industrial town into the forested mountains beyond. After several years of absence, the man has reappeared in the life of his wife and their young son, intent on being a family again. He takes them to Les Roches, a dilapidated house in the mountains where he grew up with his own ruthless father. There, while the mother watches the passing days with apprehension, the son discovers the bewitching enchantment of nature, from the herds of wild horses who gather under a grove of sycamores to the infinite expanse of a glittering night sky.

Although the family is at last reunited, the father exerts a growing hold over the mother and child, dictating the mysterious laws of their new, isolated existence, supported by the provisions he has stockpiled in a locked lean-to. As the weather turns from wondrous spring into the heat of summer and finally to the hostile chill of autumn, the house falls further into disrepair and a return to the mother and son's previous life seems more and more impossible.

The winner of the Prix du Roman Fnac in France, and brilliantly translated into English by the award-winning translator Frank Wynne, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo's The Son of Man is an exceptional novel of nature and wildness that traces how violence is inherited from one generation to the next, and a blistering examination of how families fold together and break apart under duress.

Publication Date: 
July 16, 2024