Tucking the Beast

Original title: Border la bête

Author: Vuillemin, Lune

Publication Date:

January 2024



Original language and publisher

French | La Contre Allée

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction


  • Prix littéraire François Sommer (shortlisted)
  • Prix Orange du livre 2024 (longlist)

Tucking the Beast

Original title: Border la bête

Author: Vuillemin, Lune


We close the book with the desire to plunge into the nearest forest in search of the captivating atmosphere that emerges from each of its sentences. — Novo No. 72

Bordering the Beast by Moon Vuillemin opens up a world where violence shatters, gestures heal and the senses are sharpened. Striking. — Marie Viguier, Maze: “Tucking the beast” – Preserving wildness

Lune Vuillemin here signs a novel of beautiful, fragile intensity where she manages to make the crossing, distraught, resonate with a harsh contemplative wisdom. — La Viduité

These words also contain his entire method, like his reason for writing which we feel is lasting, a pleasant premonition. — Marine Landrot, Télérama

A hymn to poetry. To the passing of time, to Nature. To love that is eroding, to bodies that discover and then forget themselves. To wisdom. To carefreeness. Right now. To life. – Martin, Librairie Le Neuf, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges

It’s powerful, immersive nature writing, with a strange beauty from which we don’t come away unscathed. — Bouilon de lecture

“To hell with ticks or the ice melting away. It’s all a reminder of how fragile the ground is beneath our feet.”

 A gripping immersion into the heart of the Canadian winter in which humans, animals and the wilderness are combined in a narrative continuum. An enchanted novel about wildlife where landscapes and characters become one, in the heart of a forest whose secrets become evident facts for a mysterious narrator. 

In Ontario, Canada, our narrator comes face to face with Arden and Jeff – a tall woman with spider-like hands and a man with a glass eye – as they try to rescue a moose from a frozen lake. Moved by what she has witnessed, she decides to follow them to a shelter where they nurse injured animals.

In the heart of nature, the narrator will learn how to care for animals and interpret the sounds of the forest and its surroundings, where humans and creatures try to coexist / live together.

Border la bête is an enchanted novel about wildlife. How can we manage to exist without trespassing on what surrounds us?

The author observes: “I worked one winter in Ontario, Canada, in a wildlife care center. It was there that I found myself closest to the vulnerability of the wild world. Trained by people who dedicate their daily lives to caring for animals, I spent my days on the earth, accompanied by the smell of fear and straw soaked in urine. It is the death of a female moose, after a rescue of more than 12 hours, that is at the origin of this novel. I will never forget this experience.”

For readers of: 

Pilgrimage to Tinder Creek by Annie Dillard, Croc fendu by Tanya Tagaq, We Always Get Lost by Accident & Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, L’Arrachée belle and Les Heures abolies by Lou Darsan