The Republic of the Congo, 1964. A young man faces a firing squad, preparing for his last moment on Earth. He is known as a complex and complicated man whose childhood left him hungry for affection and attention and who transformed his emotional wounds into a brilliant career as a diplomat and a negotiator. Now he finds himself negotiating for his own life, together with the lives of 1,500 Congolese citizens.
Inspired by the life of her father and by her lifelong effort to understand him, Amélie Nothomb’s new novel is about life-and-death decisions, about reckoning with one’s past, reconciling with one’s parents, and about the hard, often humorous work of determining one’s own path.
Amélie Nothomb was born in Japan to Belgian parents in 1967. She lives in Paris. Her books have been translated into twenty-five languages and counting, and been awarded numerous prizes including the French Academy’s Grand Prix for the Novel, the René-Fallet, Alain-Fournier, and Jean-Giono prizes.