The Laws of Ascension

Original title: Les lois de l’ascension

Author: Curiol, Céline

Publication Date:

January 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Spanish (World) (Errata Natuare)


Literary Fiction

The Laws of Ascension

Original title: Les lois de l’ascension

Author: Curiol, Céline


“A remarkably skillful novel”. — Le Monde

“An ambitious novel, tense and exciting.” — Télérama

“It’s a challenge that you won’t regret. With Les lois de l’ascension, an epic and rare novel, the author has given an invitation to think the world slowly and deeply.” — Elle

2015-2016. This novel unfolds over the course of one year and four seasons. In each season, it zooms in on a specific day in the lives of six men and women who all seem to a greater or lesser extent to have been dealt a bad hand in life, despite having followed their chosen paths.. What they have in common is that they have chosen to live their lives in Paris, the capital of an envied country which nevertheless is fraught with tensions, shot through with consumerism and facile certainties (to the point of arrogance), and weighed down by a heavy colonial past.

In the present day, it is an unsettling and often violent place. Six characters who span the generations: young, middle-aged, and on the verge of old age. Six people who will all experience the chaos of a strange upheaval deep within themselves and who are destined to encounter each other unwittingly in Belleville and suddenly affect the course of each other’s lives. Les Lois de l’ascension is an indispensable novel that encapsulates our age and captures the ravages of the political, social and aesthetic world in which we live.