The Magnolias

Original title: Les Magnolias

Author: Oiseau, Florent

Publication Date:

January 2020



Original language and publisher

French | Allary Editions

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Literary Fiction

The Magnolias

Original title: Les Magnolias

Author: Oiseau, Florent


“Imbued with poetry and fantasy, the tenderness of Florent Oiseau for his characters is contagious. “ — L’Express

“Florent Oiseau knew how to impose a tragicomic tone, rare in France, carried by failed, naive, endearing heroes. As in a good Ettore Scola film, the drama is lightened by farce. Nothing weighs, nothing is heavy. It’s an art. Florent Oiseau masters it like few authors of his generation. ” — Le Figaro Magazine

“Florent Oiseau writes with the lightness of a feather and the flexibility of a cat. Never cutesy, leaping for affection. Devouring this novel, which celebrates the impulses of the heart, the wrinkled faces and a different way of inhabiting the world, we think of Anna Gavalda, Vincent Delerm’s “Vie Varda”..” — ELLE

“It gives a lightness to the depth. In this man, there is Desproges. With a lot of humor, perspective, cynicism, he will make you laugh with your fears. ” — Gérard Collard, Librairie La Griffe noire

“With characters as absurd as endearing and a sparkling way of humor, the 29-year-old author manages to brighten up old age, precariousness, and family secrets. ” — Version Femina

Funny, cynical and deep ” — Alexandra Villon, Librairie La Madeleine, Lyon

“ Humor, poetry, real style” — Aurélie Janssens, Librairie Page et Plume, Limoges

“ A pure gem ” —Nathalie Six, Avantages 

– Caramel
– Pompon
– Cashew…
There are people whose lives seem to revolve around coming up with names for ponies. Alain is one of them. His acting career is as dead as the character he played in a crime series one summer; so the middle-aged man dawdles his days away. He spends every morning with Rosie – seeking pleasure in the back of a van – and Sundays at the Magnolias – where his grandmother is slowly slipping away. One day, as they’re having their usual cake and brandy, and sucking on sugar cubes dunked in the latter, Granny whispers, “Please help me to die.” Meaning to live… In the blink of an eye, she has forgotten about it. But Alain hasn’t. Tough luck for the ponies: he may have just found the role of a lifetime…

In a similar vein to Showing Up and Paris-Venice, Florent Oiseau once again paints the portrait of a magnificent loser – an interlude in a Renault Fuego involving bean sandwiches, family secrets and getting drunk on plum brandy, all for the love of a grandmother.

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