Repairing the Wear and Tear of a Lifetime

Original title: La patience des traces

Author: Benameur, Jeanne

Publication Date:

January 2022

Pages:

208

Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Netherlands (Unieboek/Spectrum)

Genre

Literary Fiction

Repairing the Wear and Tear of a Lifetime

Original title: La patience des traces

Author: Benameur, Jeanne

Synopsis

As a psychoanalyst, Simon has made a career out of listening to others, but at the risk of enveloping his own story in silence. Courtesy of a breach in his daily routine – a broken bowl – the moment arrives for him to finally confront himself. This inner journey begins with a true departure from one shore to another and to the distant Japan, with its rituals, its kintsugi (the ancestral art of repairing wear and tear), and its ancient cloths. Repairing the Wear and Tear of a Lifetime charts a parallel path that reader and protagonist have in common, each connecting the dots of the author in order to complete the drawing. Amid the meanders of this intimate and solitary quest is a coming-of-age novel and a story of youth, burning pas-sion, a devastated friendship, a love, and a journey. And also an ode to swimming, to water, to silences and to encounters, all conveyed with a remarkable authenticity.

And as always with Jeanne Benameur, it is a tale of winning one’s freedom. The novel is an exploration of this necessary, delicate and yet often tiny shift of perspective that enables us to see ourselves differently and to arrive at a serene acceptance of the person that we see. It is a book of serenity and silence, both of which are built on fire, ferment and violence, conveyed in a sensual and limpid language that distils a humble, gentle and stubborn wisdom, hard-won from experience and conflict but ultimately, and patiently, victorious.

Marketing Information

  • Winner of the Prix Ouest 2022
  • Selected for the Prix des Libraires, Prix France TV, Prix Europe 1 GMF and Prix du Roman qui fait du bien.

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