The Child Who

Jeanne Benameur


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Les Fugitives
3 May 2022
ISBN: 9781838490423
130 pages

From the publisher

Translated from the French by Bill Johnston

In an anonymous French village a child loves to wander a forest where his mother may have disappeared. His father is speechless with anger; his grandmother is concealing her own story.

The Child Who beautifully explores the power and powerlessness of language, but I was struck most of all by its haunting depiction of intergenerational silence, and the way we have to live with those silences.’
— Tash Aw, author of Strangers on a Pier

‘Aching, tender and luminous, The Child Who explores the splitting of the self that can occur in response to grief. Finding beauty even in the most painful dynamics, this is a humane and moving story touched by a transcendent lyricism. ’
— Jessica Traynor, author of The Quick

‘Mystical. A slow hand walking you into a forest. I come to it to think about loss, absence and longing, what can never be ours.’
— Tice Cin, author of Keeping the House

‘A poetic exploration of the presence of absence in a family’s life, tracking grief in all its melancholy intangibility. Jeanne Benameur writes with uncommon beauty, perceptiveness and subtlety.’
— Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul

‘For those with the sensibility to respond to its poetic voice, Jeanne Benameur’s L’enfant qui and the excellent English translation by Bill Johnston have the power to change lives. Existential beyond any philosophical system, the book carefully, lyrically explores the phenomenon of being as it occurs in each of three unnamed family members in an unnamed French village at an unnamed time.’
– Lynn Hoggard