The Smell of Cut Grass

Original title: Un parfum d’herbe coupée

Author: Delesalle, Nicolas

Publication Date:

January 2015



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Literary Fiction

The Smell of Cut Grass

Original title: Un parfum d’herbe coupée

Author: Delesalle, Nicolas

  • 2 Seas Represents: World Translation Rights.
  • Over 25,000 copies sold!
  • Shortlisted for the prix Relay des voyageurs 2015.
  • English sample available!


This bittersweet debut novel, composed of a clear and musical writing, examines with great tenderness but without nostalgia what remains in each us of the child we were. — Le Monde des Livres

Surely you will recognize some Philippe Delerm in this debut novel filled with happy nostalgia. […] No tears can be found in these pages that you drink like a good wine from yesterday. — Transfuge

This promising debut novel has an evocative power that charms and moves us. — Biba

Nicolas Delesalle in search of his memory. Those who know [N. Delesalle’s] journalistic work will recognize his distance, his humor, but also his seriousness, which is sometimes unconscious regarding childhood memories. — GQ

Nicolas Delesalle knows how to tell, in a few words, all those little things of our existence, that make up almost everything. […] It’s like he has a micro-camera that zooms in on these furtive moments that have very Proustian flavors. — La Tribune du Réseau Presse

“The day my father came home with a winning smile and the [Renault 25] GTS, I scowled. But I swallowed my expression the way a kid hides the smell of his first cigarette from his parents. I said ‘yea’ and ‘great’ but with a heavy heart, having understood that having a GTS instead of a GTX was the sixth Great Renunciation after the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Mathilde (the prettiest girl in kindergarten) and my career as a professional soccer player.”

By showing snapshots of his life, Kolya depicts people, words, landscapes that have counted for him: the roads to vacation, girls, Totor the peasant with mushrooms and the family home, books, a few grasshoppers, Rasputin the German Shepherd… All those little things, which in the end are everything.

A remarkable first novel, full of emotion, humor, poetry, and depth, in which the delicate, singular music of childhood leads the way to a universal partition.