A young revolutionary plants a bomb in a factory on the outskirts of Algiers during the Algerian War.
The bomb is timed to explode after work hours, so no one will be hurt.
But the authorities have been watching. He is caught, the bomb is defused, and he is tortured, tried in a day and sentenced to death by guillotine.
A routine event, perhaps, in a brutal conflict that ended the lives of more than a million Muslim Algerians. But what if the militant is a “pied-noir”? What if his lover is a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust?
What happens to a “European” who chooses the side of anti-colonialism?
By turns lyrical, meditative, and heart-stoppingly suspenseful, this debut novel by Joseph Andras, based on a true story, was a literary and political sensation in France, winning the Prix Goncourt for First Novel and being acclaimed by Le Monde as “vibrantly lyrical and somber” and by the journal La Croix as a “masterpiece”.