Beside the Sea
by Véronique Olmi
Out of stock
The French controversial bestseller for the first time available in English.
A single mother takes her two young sons on a trip to the seaside. They stay in a hotel, drink hot chocolate and go to the funfair. She wants to protect them from an uncomprehending and cold world. She knows that it will be the last trip for her boys.
A haunting and thought-provoking story about how a mother’s love for her children can be more dangerous than the dark world she is seeking to keep at bay.
WINNER OF THE SCOTT MONCRIEFF PRIZE 2011 FOR BEST ENGLISH TRANSLATION FROM FRENCH
LONGLISTED FOR THE INDEPENDENT FOREIGN FICTION PRIZE 2011
ADAPTED INTO A MAJOR PLAY AT THE SOUTHBANK CENTRE
Why Peirene chose to publish this book:
This is the most impressive novel about the mother and child relationship I have read. Véronique Olmi handles an aspect of motherhood we all too often deny. She depicts a woman’s fear of releasing her children into the world. The simple first person narrative achieves an extraordinary level of poetry and inner truth.
Written by Véronique Olmi
Translated from the French by Adriana Hunter.
Female Voice series
120pp, Paperback with Flaps, £8.99
Press & Reviews
'A harrowing evocation of mental illness, and of one woman's terrifying inability to bear the burdens of motherhood. A sustained exercise in dread for the reader, but a surprisingly sympathetic portrait nonetheless.' Lionel Shriver, author of We Need To Talk About Kevin
'This is a mesmerising portrait ... it should be read.' Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
'This short novel has the trajectory of a classic tragedy with its taut time-span and sense of inevitability, as we witness a woman destroyed by a tragic flaw.' Chris Schueler, The Independent
'Prose... filled with sad poetic sense and blunt, bleak realities, compellingly conveyed in Hunter's colloquial English.' TLS
'Tragic. Moving. Essential reading, offering painful insight into the human condition and particularly the lives of women.' Rosie Goldsmith, BBC
About The Book
Adriana Hunter has translated over 50 books from French, including works by Agnès Desarthe, Véronique Ovalde and Hervé Le Tellier. She has translated four titles for Peirene: Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi, for which she won the 2011 Scott Moncrieff Prize, Under The Tripoli Sky by Kamal Ben Hameda, Reader for Hire by Raymond Jean and Her Father's Daughter by Marie Sizun. Adriana has been short-listed twice for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
In 2007 she translated Bord de Mer on spec because she loved the text and felt it ought to be given a chance in English. In spring 2009 she approached Peirene. Meike read it and was immediately won over, by the story but also by the thoughtful, flawless translation. The rest is history.