The Little Polemicist

Original title: Le Petit Polémiste

Author: Duran-Cohen, Ilan

Publication Date:

August 2020

Pages:

304

Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Genre

Literary Fiction

The Little Polemicist

Original title: Le Petit Polémiste

Author: Duran-Cohen, Ilan

Synopsis

Everything is going pretty well for Alain Conlang, a benign television pundit duly sanctioned by the state and extremely popular among younger viewers, until one evening during a dull dinner he comes out with a dumb and gratuitous sexist remark. Boredom? Too much to drink? Bad taste? No excuse will do. In a world that has been ideologically sanitized, Alain Conlang’s comments go down very badly and the well-oiled machinery of informing on one’s fellow citizens cranks into action.

Conlang ends up having to answer for his inappropriate ‘humor’ in court. Under intense scrutiny by those who would assess his level of social compliance, Conlang goes on the run standing still in an absurd race against the deterioration of his situation, flanked by a family itself undergoing upheaval (his brother is transitioning), a female lawyer well above regulation weight, a somewhat emotionally illiterate intern and a niece in distress…