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The Last River (Le Dernier fleuve)

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Original Language: French | 240 pp. | January 2019

2 Seas Represents: English (USA & Canada), Dutch and Nordic rights.

NOVEL

Mo is carrying his little brother Jo on his back. They are two small boys detached from their past and any background. They are walking, but don’t know for how long they have been walking, or where their feet are leading them. When they arrive at a river in the morning, it seems like this must have been their destination all along. Mo and Jo’s adventure is not so much about childhood as about life and death. It is marked by extraordinary encounters that are also frightening, threatening and redemptive. The seasons pass and the boys grow up. And then the elder one senses that the moment has come to leave this safe place and, like the river, to seek the sea.

Hélène Frappat turns childhood into a mythological land where children are gentle soldiers with dark and obstinate hopes and the world is flirting with its own demise. Le Dernier Fleuve throws every genre into the melting pot – fairy tale and adventure story, dream premonition and ancestral nightmare, biblical parable and environmental fable – and ultimately transcends them all.

Hélène Frappat is a novelist: Sous réserve (Allia, 2004), L’Agent de liaison (Allia, 2007), Par effraction (Allia, 2009), inverno (Actes Sud, 2011) and Lady Hunt (Actes Sud, 2013). A graduate in philosophy and a lover of cinema, she is also the author of Jacques Rivette, Secret compris (Cahiers du cinéma, 2001), Trois films fantômes de Jacques Rivette (Cahiers du cinéma, 2002), Roberto Rossellini (Cahiers du cinéma/Le Monde, 2008) and most recently Toni Servillo, nouveau monstre (Séguier, 2018).