Farm Body, Female Body

Original title: Corps de ferme

Publication Date:

January 2024



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Territories Sold

UK & Europe (Linden Editions)


Literary Fiction


  • Grand Prix des Lectrices de ELLE (selection)
  • 2024 Prix Cazes - Brasserie Lipp (longlist)
  • 2024 Prix Jésus Paradis (longlist)
  • Prix Ouest-France Etonnants Voyageurs 2024 (shortlist)

Farm Body, Female Body

Original title: Corps de ferme


You need to show some backbone to be able to successfully write yourself into the tradition of the animal-themed novel. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Wajdi Mouawad or Tristan Garcia, and daring to lend your pen to animals means facing the ridicule, but sometimes achieving the spectacular. Agnès de Clairville definitely escapes the former and perfects the latter. — Clémentine Goldszal, ELLE

Agnès de Clairville chose to gave the animals a voice to evoke the difficulties of a family of cattle breeders. Corps de ferme is a daring but successful bet. — Ariane Singer, Le Monde des livres

Life at a farm through the eyes of a cow, a dog, a cat, a horse: such is the literary challenge that Agnès de Clairville has taken upon herself with her novel Corps de ferme. This ancient agronomist engineer tells the story of a crisis that is shaking the agricultural world. — Marjorie Philibert, Le Monde (ITW)

Well observed, but, above all, well written, it has Agnès de Clairville’s signature all over. She has published the unexpected and succeeds with Farm Body, Female Body. — Bernard Lehut, RTL_Laissez-vous tenter (you can find the complete interview here)

Corps de ferme speaks to us with a rare force of birth, filiation and inheritance, of denial and unsaid things, of a drama that plays out behind the scenes, of an open camera where death and life constantly intersect, until they merge. — Minh Tran Huy, Madame Figaro

Agnès de Clairville adopts the point of view of cattle in her second novel Corps de ferme and gives a voice to the animals in order to recall the difficulties stock farmers face. — Pascal Paradou, RFI_De vive(s) voix

It is powerful, violent, tender, moving. In one word: true.  — Pierre Vavasseur, Le Parisien Week-end

Corps de ferme becomes literature, and it’s a real eye-catcher. — Hubert Artus, Causette

A novel of great scope. Her book is one of those crazy projects that we like to imagine but never think will actually come true… With this original, empowering and instructive text, Agnès de Clairville accepted the challenge and brilliantly succeeded through her very own humble and determined way.  — Mohammed Aïssaoui, Le Figaro Littéraire

Amazing. It is a physical, carnal story, with reliably orchestrated suspense, a story that requires one’s breath, requires endurance, a story of smells and blood, of life and death. — Martine Laval, Le Matricule des Anges

In the polyphonic novel Corps de ferme, Agnès de Clairville recounts the daily life of a farm from the point of view of the animals while weaving a reflection on motherhood and our relationship with the living. — Sean James Rose, Livres Hebdo

A delicate, sensitive and intelligent book. […] An absolutely poignant reflection on the contemporary agricultural condition. — Anne-Marie Revol, Franceinfo TV_L’Info du jour

A must-read novel, one that makes the link between humans and animals more straight-forward, allowing pity to finally defeat cruelty. — Anne-Marie Mitchell, La Marseillaise 

This novel is one of the most effervescent novels of the beginning of this year because of its formal audacity. — Sophie Rosemont,Vogue

Terribly relevant. […] It’s raw, it’s direct, with all the necessary poetic distance. — Nicolas Carreau, Europe 1_La prescription culture

A gripping and sensitive novel that addresses the question of pregnancy denial from a unique angle.

As they are struggling for their own survival, nothing escapes the notice of the farm animals. The farmer’s financial worries as bills mount up, his sons’ fighting as they grow up, his wife’s footsteps, which have grown heavier than usual… The cow, the dog and the cat stand guard in a world whose tempo is set by life and death. Their silent round never misses a beat. But a tragedy is taking place on this farm, and not one human has noticed a thing. Because people are blind, the animals will bear witness.

Agnès de Clairville endeavors to upend our gaze in this open-air huis clos, in which dumb beasts’ communication intertwines with humans’ secrets. What can animals tell us about our relationship to birth and filiation? In this book, animality is in charge and words jostle around for unexpected results.

Agnès de Clairville’s writing is characterized by this poetic and immersive prose : in her narration with multiple points of view, the subjectivity of the animals who then speak by saying “I” surprises as much as it amuses. A rich, descriptive language and we literally feel immersed in the middle of the cries, the smells – all carried by long, rhythmic sentences, as if to reflect the consciousness of the animals. […] The book gives a highly realistic depiction of rural life, in all its brutality and bittersweetness: carefully avoiding sentimentality, it captures the beauty and harshness of the natural world. […] This voice given to animals explores difficult subjects, which we are more confronted with in an agrarian environment: death, coexistence, vital energy… A bold bet, which we knew especially through Orwell’s Animal Farm – and the strong wink is found: we would happily imagine that this farm is the same as the Orwellian one… some time before the revolt? Actualitté 

Other books by this author