And You’ll Blow Like Wild Winds

Original title: Et vous passerez comme des vents fous

Author: Arnaud, Clara

Publication Date:

August 2023



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Germany (Antje Kunstmann)


Literary Fiction


  • Prix du Roman Fnac 2023 (longlisted)
  • Prix des Libraires 2024 (shortlisted)
  • Prix Libraires en Seine Corinne Kim 2024 (finalist)
  • Prix Joseph Kessel 2024 (longlist)

And You’ll Blow Like Wild Winds

Original title: Et vous passerez comme des vents fous

Author: Arnaud, Clara


Gaspard is a Pyrenean shepherd who is preparing to take his flock up to the mountain pastures for the summer, but he is still haunted by an accident that occurred a year previously.

Meanwhile, the brown bear expert Alma has just joined the National Biodiversity Centre after stints in Spain and Alaska. She now has to carve herself out a place in a team of men who have little respect for her domain of expertise or her ethologist’s methods.

From spring to autumn, the two thirtysomethings cross paths every now and then in the uplands. But when alone in his cabin, Gaspard has to contend with his demons and spectral presences that haunt the mountain pastures: the late shepherdess Ilia and the female bear that may have been responsible for her tragic death. Alma, convinced that man and bear can happily co-exist, doggedly tries to track down the bear, but it constantly eludes her.

Tensions soon crystallise around a large female bear, whose repeated attacks revive old debates, illustrating the crisis in which pastoralism finds itself and highlighting conflicting visions of the mountains. The animal becomes the enemy to be killed.
In this valley where the eternal struggle between man and nature is being played out once again, snapshots of the life of a young bear handler who left with his charge to make his fortune in New York at the dawn of the twentieth century resonate powerfully with the present.

Exploring our relationship with untamed nature and the ways in which we inhabit the world, Et vous passerez comme des vents fous affords a striking and meticulously researched immersion in modern pastoral life – its moments of exaltation and communion, as well as the challenges posed by climate change and predation. Clara Arnaud has produced a sensual, immersive and earthy novel that celebrates the beauty of the mountains while acknowledging their violence, establishing herself in the process as one of the major new voices of French nature writing.

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