Black Flag

Original title: Drapeau noir

Publication Date:

August 2024

Pages:

352

Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Genre

Literary Fiction

Black Flag

Original title: Drapeau noir

Synopsis

After the acclaimed Avant les diamants (Before the Diamonds, nearly 15,000 hardcover copies sold, listed for the FNAC Novel Prize, winner of the 2021 Claude Chabrol Prize), Dominique Maisons is back with Drapeau noir, a novel with an enthralling plot: a tale of love and anarchy set in 1930s Paris. Naïve young Pierre meets the glorious Nina, a tenacious anarchist militant who’s addicted to opium. A bildungsroman about the bewitching traps of falling madly in love and being willing to die for a cause. 

It all starts in Paris in 1934. Young Pierre, an accountant at the Denoël publishing house, dreams of becoming a writer. Just when he drops his manuscript off at a local printer’s shop, the police show up, on the trail of anarchist leaflets. An activist urges Pierre to escape with her, and grabs some counterfeit banknotes on their way out. They need to spend them that same day before word gets out.

Pierre is suddenly introduced to a world he had no idea about: a world of rendezvous in attics and rear courtyards, of working-class neighborhoods and clandestine meetings. A world of revolution and freedom that will shake up his life. Through Nina and the anarchist movement, essential, still-topical themes are introduced: abortion rights, fighting the capitalist system, ecology, violent action as a last resort. Pierre will have to choose between the career as a respectable, law-abiding writer that Robert Denoël can offer him, and the marginal and uncompromising ideals of Nina, whose cheerfully determined optimism hides a dark side.

Marketing Information

  • An immersion in a social movement that is not well-known: 1930s anarchism; with themes that are still strikingly up-to-date: women’s liberation, abortion rights, the ecology
  • As he did for Avant les diamants, the author spent several years documenting the period, and has pulled off the feat of recreating that world to the point that we feel like we’re experiencing it