Original title: Connemara

Publication Date:

February 2022



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Norway (Gyldendal)
Germany (Hanser Berlin)
Italy (Marsilio)
Spanish (World) (Anaya/Alianza)
Netherlands (Meulenhoff)
English (World) (Other Press)
Slovakia (Inaque)
Bulgaria (Era)
Lithuania (Lithuanian Writers' Union)


Literary Fiction

Number of copies sold:


Foreign Covers



Original title: Connemara


A great novelist of contemporary France. — France Inter

Connemara is the great romance of collision. A collision between two drifting souls, between two social backgrounds, between the past and the present, between our dreams and what the turbulence of life makes of them. — Le Parisien Week-end

There is tenderness in Nicolas Mathieu’s writing, irony and undeniable accuracy. — Le Magazine Littéraire

As in his previous novel, he avoids clichés and builds a complex subject through the multitude of contradictory feelings. — Les inrockuptibles

An incisive portrait of France today. — Paris Match

The novelist questions with benevolent irony our relationship to social success. — L’Est Républicain

A very great book in my opinion. — France Inter

A powerful book, wildly romantic and terribly political. — Libération

An exciting book! — France Culture

A great writer! — France Inter

A very beautiful writing on a human scale. — Quotidien TMC

He returns today with an even stronger and more intimate text, the magnificent Connemara. A rare book. — Le Parisien

Lots of tenderness!  — France Inter

This novel overthrows you, it dazzles you. […] It is a huge crush. — Télématin, France 2

Pen as precise as it is sharp, the Laureate of Goncourt 2018 for Their children after them scratches with accuracy and humor the functioning of companies – private and now public -, their newspeak as well as their implacable capitalist logic. — Welcome to the Jungle

The writer once again explores the intimate and the political in Connemara. And signs, with this evocation of an adulterous couple in prey to existential malaise, another dazzling social chronicle. — Madame Figaro

Connemara perfectly translates the deep malaise of class defectors. — Le Journal du Dimanche

As political as it is intimate, scrutinizing what time does to human bodies and social organisms. — Médiapart

Nicolas Mathieu describes with accuracy and empathy the melancholy of having left adolescence, the passing of time, inexorable and cruel, unfulfilled dreams… — Voici

Superb novel. — 28 minutes, ARTE

Hélène will soon turn 40. She was born in a small town in the east of France. She was successful academically and now has a good career, two daughters, and lives in an architect-designed house in the hills of Nancy. She has achieved the dream both of her adolescence and of the glossy pages of the magazines: leaving her humble origins behind and making a success of her life.

And yet she feels a lack of fulfilment – the years have passed without living up to her expectations.

As for Christophe, he has just turned 40 and has never left his little corner of France where he grew up with Hélène. He’s no longer so handsome as he used to be and has led an unassuming life, giving priority to his mates and to partying, and putting off until tomorrow the big efforts and life-altering decisions. These days, he is selling dog food, dreaming of playing hockey again like he did when he was 16, and living with his father and son – a quiet, indecisive little existence. He could be seen as having failed in life.

And yet he has a cast-iron belief that anything is still possible.

Connemara is the story of a return to one’s roots, of a relationship, and of an attempt to make a life as a couple in a France that is changing fast. And above all, it is a tale of coming to terms with the illusions of one’s youth, of a second chance, and of a love that persists in spite of separation in a country singing along to Sardou that is soon going to vote against itself.

Marketing Information

  • Finalist for the Grand Prix RTL-Lire Magazine littéraire 2022, the Prix Eugène Dabit, and the Prix Relay des Voyageurs Lecteurs 2022
  • Longlisted for the Prix du Livre Inter

Foreign Covers