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The Dedication (La Dédicace)

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Original Language: French | 290 pp. | January 2019

2 Seas Represents: World excl French rights

DEBUT NOVEL

Her debut novel is about to be sent to the printers, but this author still can’t decide who to dedicate it to.

This is the story of a woman who is searching for something: a dedication. She is thirty years old and about to publish her first novel. In three days time, her book will be sent off to the printers, and she still has not decided on the dedication. It is “terribly important” her editor tells her with a smile. A dedication, “those few insignificant words on the first page. Nobody ever knows who it’s for, and nobody ever reads it.” But who could she dedicate her book to? She has lunch with her mother, but realizes that she doesn’t like her enough for a dedication; she meets up with a friend, goes to a party, pops into a bookshop, bumps into neighbors, sets out after a stranger… And gets nowhere.

As a guest at the book fair in Brive, a big event in the French literary calendar, will she get an idea for a dedication? She talks to the authors, takes part in a pompous debate on writing, and quickly sleeps with a novelist who has committed the fashion faux pas of having several watches. But like every other evening, she makes her way back to her apartment building in the north of Paris, which, like everywhere else, is home to a thousand solitudes.

With the disillusionment and dark humor of a female Houellebecq, Leila Bouherrafa presents a ruthlessly accurate vision of the world.

Leila Bouherrafa is 29 years old. She lives and works in Paris. The Dedication is her first novel.