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The Colored Pencil Factory (Les Crayons De Couleur)

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Original Language: French | 317 pp. | September 2017

2 Seas Represents: World English, Dutch and Nordic rights.

Rights sold: Spain (Grijalbo/PRH, at auction), Catalan (Rosa dels Vent/PRH), Italy (Harper Collins, at auction), Germany (C.Bertelsmann/PRH, at auction), Korea (Hyundae Munhak, at auction), Taiwan (Solo Press/Eurasian), Russia (Sinbad), Lithuania (Lithuanian Writers Union Publishers), China (Shanghai 99), Film rights (C2M Production & DAI DAI Films

First print run: 25,000 copies. Detailed English synopsis available

COMMERCIAL FICTION | CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | WOMEN’S FICTION | UPMARKET FICTION

Arthur, 30 years old, unemployed, and divorced, built like a rugby player, is healing from a deep depression, heavily abusing alcohol. His only pleasure is to observe secretively his beautiful, blind neighbor Charlotte, living with her 7 year old daughter Louise, across the street from his empty apartment. In spite of all his attempts to fail, he finds a job as a salesman in an old colored pencil factory. Nevertheless, the miracle doesn’t last. Two events will soon change the course of his life and make him cross paths with Charlotte and Louise. The first event, quite ordinary, is the bankruptcy of the colored pencil factory, which must close, leaving all personnel on the street. The second event, simultaneously and more unusual, is the disappearance of all colors from the face of the planet.

First Yellow goes, which nobody seems to notice, except for Ajay, an Indian cab driver from New York, suffering synesthesia. Soon follow all the other colors. Charlotte, as a blind person, is the unexpected scientist and color expert animating a radio program, who will be in the eye of the storm. While traffic lights show their inefficiency, creating traffic jams and car accidents, fashion designers suffer a nervous breakdown, shops and restaurants are deserted, flavor is gone, and scientists and the media try to understand and provide credible explanations for the phenomenon, creating the most improbable theories. Definitively living in a black-and-white world with all its shades of gray, the population falls into a deep depression, adding to an unprecedented economic crisis.

Did all colors disappear or have we simply stopped seeing them?

This light philosophical tale, playing between screwball and romantic comedy genres, drives us through the novel in the passionate but little-known world of color. In a standardized world in which color seems more and more to disappear, the author enlightens our eyes and awakens our senses. Racing against time to find and return the lost colors of the world, the alliance of an ex-alcoholic, a blind woman, a cab driver, a group of elderly retirees, and a gifted little girl won’t be too many, especially as a gang of good-for-nothings from the Chinese mafia is trying to take advantage of the color crisis.

 

Author of bestseller The Astonishing Power of Colors translated into 15 languages, designer and color specialist Jean-Gabriel Causse has awakened much interest in French publishers for his first novel, which will be published at Flammarion in September after auction.