Rhapsody of the Overlooked

Original title: Rhapsodie des oubliés

Author: Aouine, Sofia

Publication Date:

August 2019

Pages:

320

Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Territories Sold

Italy (Hope Edizioni)

Genres

Debut Novel, Literary Fiction

Rhapsody of the Overlooked

Original title: Rhapsodie des oubliés

Author: Aouine, Sofia

Synopsis

 

A juicy debut novel full of verve. — Paris-Match

This is the most beautiful book I’ve read about adolescence, the relationship between boys and girls, and also about immigration. — François Busnel, presenter of La Grande Librairie 

It’s beautiful, it’s intelligent, it’s well written and rings ‘true’. A very wonderful discovery ! —Stéphane, librairie-papeterie Montmartre

A marvel. —Nathalie, librairie Les Augustins

The verdict is unanimous: It’s a favorite among the whole team! — Julien, librairie L’esprit Livre

Abad is a contemporary version of Momo in The Life Before Us by Romain Gary […]. And his daily life, his story, is told marvelously well, in the frank and jocular tone of a teenager’s slang full of flavor. —Anne, librairie L’Oiseau Lire

A tender and unsettling novel. And above all wonderfully well-written. Certainly a real gem to closely monitor. —Laura, Cultura Saint-Aunes

An instructive anti (debut) – novel. — Ça Histoire

La Goutte d’Or as told by an author who has read Zola and has known the vagrancy of poor children at the time when Vanoprix was still facing Tati. A successful debut-novel. — Le Courrier de l’Atlas

A realistic text in a language inherited from the streets, full of both slang and literary terms, inventive and rhythmic.  Muriel Steinmetz, L’Humanité

A stunning first novel, with influences ranging from Truffaut’s 400 Blows to Zola’s L’Assommoir, via Romain Gary’s Madame Rosa.

The story starts in the present day, in Paris’s Goutte-d’Or neighborhood near the Barbès metro station, where North African and African immigrants congregate. Influenced by Zola’s L’Assommoir, which describes daily life in that working-class neighborhood during his era, Sofia Aouine portrays the life of Abad, a mischievous, turbulent 13-year-old boy.

Like Antoine Doinel in Truffaut’ 400 Blows, Abad dreams of a brighter future. But in that urban jungle, where an impoverished, ethnically diverse population does its best to get along, his aspirations soon turn into lost illusions. Yet escape routes from his suffocating life do appear, and one of them is the discovery of desire and sexuality. Even if it means breaking the rules, even if it means doing whatever it takes to get others to let him learn about life his own way.

The word “rhapsody” comes from the Ancient Greek, and literally means “songs stitched together.” Like a rhapsoder, Sofia Aouine stitches words, sewing together the characters’ lives and making the language sing. With this debut novel, a grandiose story-teller is revealed, one with a style so singular and prodigious that it would be pointless to settle for comparing her to Despentes – however powerful she may be.

 

Marketing Information

  • Over 13,000 copies sold
  • Winner of the Prix de Flore, Grand prix du premier roman de la ville de Mennecy, Prix du Salon de Draveil. Selected for the Prix du Style, Prix Décembre, Prix Méditerranée, Prix de la librairie Saint-Pierre