Laurent Binet

Books & LiteratureThe Guardian

Civilisations by Laurent Binet review – counterfactual hi-jinks

French author Laurent Binet is preoccupied with real-life events, AKA history, and how we tell it. There was the fretful meticulousness of his debut HHhH, a “nonfiction novel” about the assassination of Nazi chief Reinhard Heydrich; then The 7th Function of Language, a metafictional thriller about Roland Barthes and his fatal encounter with a laundry van.
Picture for Civilisations by Laurent Binet review – counterfactual hi-jinks
Books & Literatureinews.co.uk

Civilisations by Laurent Binet, review: A period romp that asks vital questions about our origin stories

Imagine arriving on a new continent, sometime in the 16th century, only to stumble upon the Spanish Inquisition. Watching the “New World” public trials and executions of heretics, Inca king Atahualpa, himself “no stranger to human sacrifice” is “shocked by the sight of those bodies twisting as they were consumed by the flames, and by the sound of the dying people’s screams.”
Picture for Civilisations by Laurent Binet, review: A period romp that asks vital questions about our origin stories
RELATED CHANNELS
Books & LiteratureThe Guardian

Laurent Binet: ‘In France, I just feel like we are lost in space’

Laurent Binet is one of the most successful French writers of his generation, author of the bestselling HHhH, which won the Prix Goncourt du premier roman, and The Seventh Function of Language, a murder mystery novel based on the life and writing of Roland Barthes. His latest, Civilisations, which won the Académie Française’s Grand Prix du roman in 2019, is a counterfactual novel, a wild romp of a book that turns history on its head. In Binet’s mirror-world, the Vikings discover America, Christopher Columbus never makes it back to Spain, the Inca king Atahualpa invades Europe, while Cervantes is exiled to Cuba. The book is translated by Binet’s long-time collaborator Sam Taylor.