The Open Sky

Original title: Le ciel ouvert

Publication Date:

February 2024



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Netherlands (Meulenhoff)
Germany (Hanser)
Italy (Marsilio)


Literary Fiction

Number of copies sold:

70,000 in print

The Open Sky

Original title: Le ciel ouvert


On love, I have never read something so beautiful. — Nelly Kaprièlian, France Inter

A rare novel, woven with bursts of poetry, a rage for life and an often poignant melancholy. — Dorothée Werner, ELLE

A sumptuous first autobiographical story. — Nelly Kaprielian, Les Inrockuptibles

Le ciel ouvert burns with a crazy, incandescent passion. He can remind everyone of the loves they thought were unique. — Serge Sanchez, Lire Magazine

Poetic snapshots, incandescent declarations. — Erwan Desplanques, Psychologies Magazine

Brilliant and ardent microfictions. — Actualitté

It’s sublime because Nicolas Mathieu tells of everyone’s love. Each of us can recognize ourselves. — Olivia de Lamberterie, Télématin

Nicolas Mathieu is much more than an excellent writer. He is a magician of words and evils who never ceases to surprise us. — Sandrine Bajos, Le Parisien

This collection of prose poems traces a trajectory, a line of life carried by love, by revolt and by literature. — Laurence Houot, France Info

A carousel of moments, words, confidences, reflections, which embraces roundly, intensely, powerfully, in a hundred pages, the essence of a human life. — Nathalie Crom, Télérama

Driven by extraordinary energy. — Didier Jacob, L’Obs

On each page, the writer, so gifted at capturing everyday life as it is shaped by the times, such a good portraitist of bodies in movement, puts words to shared wear and tear, fatigue, and helplessness. — Virginie Bloch-Lainé, Libération

Drawings by Aline Zalko

This collection is a series of incandescent miniature fictions published over several years on Instagram by Nicolas Mathieu.

We discover the many facets of a wild love, and a world of coincidences, analogies and banalities transformed into treasures: fleetingly glimpsed towns, the sea, encounters and new beginnings, despair and joy, unsustainable happiness, the seasons, mornings in bed and aborted dinners, hangovers, waiting around, desertion, childhood and the imminent end.

Every page recounts our distress and our wonder, the tribulations of the body, or the love for a father, a woman or a child: all fragments of this world that are still holding out against absence and oblivion.