How Many Moons

Original title: Combien de lunes

Author: El Makki, Laura

Publication Date:

August 2023



Original language and publisher

French | Les Escales

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Literary Fiction


  • Prix Stanislas (longlisted)
  • Prix Révélation d'automne 2023 de la SGDL (longlisted)
  • Prix Jeune Mousquetaire 2024 (longlisted)
  • Prix du Roman de la nuit (longlisted)
  • Prix des lectrices et des lecteurs des bibliothèques de la Ville de Paris (longlisted)
  • Prix du Premier Roman Angoulême Se Livre 2023 (longlisted)
  • Festival du Premier Roman et des Littératures Contemporaines (longlisted)

How Many Moons

Original title: Combien de lunes

Author: El Makki, Laura


Powerful. Rarely is a first novel so assured. — Serge Joncour (Prix Femina 2020, Prix Interallié 2016)

Villagers immersed in darkness seek their inner light. With How many moons, radio producer Laura El Makki reveals her romantic voice. — Livres Hebdo

Magnificent writing. — Libération

A first novel brimming with imagination. — L’Humanité

Short novel, largely compensated by dense writing. — Le Télégramme

It’s beautiful and dark, poetic and disturbing. — La Voix du Nord

A strange and captivating story, carried by a writing that is both dark and flamboyant, in the beginning of an apocalypse of everyday life, even more distressing than an end of the world announced a very beautiful parable of the path that our world is taking and a reading unexpected. I really liked being surprised like this, and the construction in a choral novel is a success. — Librairie Coiffard

In imaginative, poetic prose, Laura El Makki has written a mysterious, spellbinding and original first novel. — Version Femina

A supernatural atmosphere that grips the reader from the very first lines. — Flair

Laura El Makki is the author of several biographies (Henry David Thoreau and H. G. Wells, ed. Gallimard; The Brontë sisters, the strength of existence, ed. Tallandier). As a radio and podcast producer, she directed the series Un été avec Proust (2013) and Un été avec Victor Hugo (2015) on France Inter, adapted into books by Éditions des Équateurs.

One morning like any other, the sun does not rise. The animals disappear. Cars and telephones stop working. And a whole village – the world, perhaps – is plunged into darkness.

The young Anna, who has just found love, Ethel, who has long since lost her way, Josselin, whom an accident has made as monstrous as he is hostile, and little Gautier, with an admirable imagination, try to live in this sovereign night. A strange woman, living in a remote village, is quickly suspected of having cast a spell on the sky and becomes the object of all their obsessions.

Colossal, dazzling, the moon alone illuminates them all, disarmed and groping. It guides them and step by step transforms them, putting everything at stake: their past choices and their buried desires. And what if, far from being the end of one world, this night was the beginning of another?

Marketing Information

  • A recognized non-fiction author: co-author of the collection Un été avec (Antoine Compagnon and Guillaume Gallienne)
  • Journalist at France Culture and France Inter, producer of literary programs and podcasts, and professor at Sciences Po, the author has many supporters in the world of media and culture.