Stony Silence

Original title: Les Chiens de faïence

Author: Louis, Thomas

Publication Date:

August 2021



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Debut Novel

Stony Silence

Original title: Les Chiens de faïence

Author: Louis, Thomas


The writing is remarkable. This is a novel I will support this Fall. – Amélie Nothomb 

At the Dugast’s, dying with the family is a team sport. – Jean-Paul Dubois

A devastating humor within a climate of tragedy. – The firm favourite of the new publishing season for Dominique Bona, Le Journal du Dimanche

A tragic but funny début novel. – Laurent Ruquier, ‘Les Grosses Tetes’, RTL  

A refreshingly madcap story told with a sharp irony. – L’Obs

A light-hearted style to discuss serious subjects, death of course, or simply universals, like family, and a very beautiful way of steering the novel on. – Julien from the bookshop ‘L’Ecume des pages’ (Paris)

A kind of dark tale, full of irony, about communication difficulties between human beings. The characters are disillusioned, without hope for the future, but the story is subtly funny, with a life-saving black humor. – Arnaud Bresson for the bookshop ‘Sauramps’ (Montpellier)

An excellent new début novel! Just how funny, odd and nutty it is! Fantastic! – Caroline Vallat, FNAC Rosny

An original black comedy, that challenges the family routine! And with good reason, how does one cope with the succession of suicides of one’s family members? With humor, a pinch of the absurd, and above all dedication, our protagonist attempts to flee the curse and it’s with real pleasure that we are prepared to follow step by step his atypical story. – Jeremy, the bookshop ‘L’impromptu’ (Paris)

What if death were preferable to life? Cut off from everything, in a village that even the digital revolution forgot, the Dugasts have turned suicide into their family specialty. They all seem to be committing it, one after the other, for no obvious reason. When will the hecatomb cease?  Against all odds, the family’s only son chooses to live.  

With its striking and poetic style, a tragic-comic début novel from a talented young author – just 28 years old – who already has a large following online.

They’re dying like flies in the Dugast family. First the grandfather hangs himself in the barn, then the grandmother crashes her car into a tree. Next, the other grandfather jumps off a cliff, and so on and so forth. Each and every death is a suicide. Incomprehensible. Absurd. Is it a nightmare? A curse? While the series of suicides is causing tongues to wag in town, the Dugasts themselves don’t discuss it. They just go on doing what they do best: ignoring things. At age 18, their son, Christophe, is determined to escape what would seem to be his fate. But where can you go when you’ve only ever known an intrusively close-knit family?

Strewn with poetical aphorisms and flaunting a keen sense of irony, Thomas Louis’s social fable has hints of absurdity, where fate strips people’s incapacity to communicate down to the barest of bones.

Marketing Information

  • Winner of the Prix Revelation 2021
  • A brilliant debut novel, in a quirky and poetical style imbued with black humor, by a talented young 28-year-old writer.
  • An author with a major presence on social media, particularly Instagram: 60,000 followers.
  • A theme that is always up-to-date, in the wake of Nicolas Mathieu’s, Leurs enfants après eux (Actes Sud, 2019 Goncourt Award): life in small, overlooked towns on the outskirts of cities, and the impact of social determinism.
  • An accursed family, hounded by fate, worthy heirs to the one featured in Jean Giono’s tragi-comedy Le Moulin de Pologne (Gallimard, 1952).