Everyday Mathilde takes the Metro, then the commuter train to the office of a large multi-national where she works in the marketing department. Every day, the same routine, the same trains. But something happened a while ago - she dared to voice a different opinion from her moody boss, Jacques. Bit by bit she finds herself frozen out of everything, with no work to do.
Thibault is a paramedic. Every day he drives to the addresses he receives from his controller. The city spares him no grief: traffic jams, elusive parking spaces, delivery trucks blocking his route. He is well aware that he may be the only human being many of the people he visits will see for the entire day and is well acquainted with the symptomatic illnesses, the major disasters, the hustle and bustle and, of course, the immense, pervading loneliness of the city.
Before one day in May, Mathilde and Thibault had never met. They were just two anonymous figures in a crowd, pushed and shoved and pressured continuously by the loveless, urban world.
Underground Time is a novel of quiet violence - the violence of office-bullying, the violence of the brutality of the city - in which our two characters move towards an inevitable meeting.
'Two solitary existences cross paths in this poignant chronicle, a new testimony to de Vigan's superb eloquence' Lire
In this moving autobiographical novel, the narrator's mother, Lucile, raises her two daughters largely alone. A former child model from a large Bohemian family, Lucile is younger and more glamorous than the other mothers: always in lipstick and stylishly dressed, wayward and wonderful. But as the years pass her occasional sadness gives way to overwhelming despair and delusion.
This is a story of luminous beauty and rambunctious joy, of dark secrets and silences, revelations and, ultimately, the unknowability of even those closest to us. And in the face of the unknowable, personal history becomes fiction. Nothing Holds Back the Night is universally recognisable and singularly heartbreaking.
'A wonderful literary trompe l'oeil: a book about friendship, writing and the boundary between reality and fantasy ... Dark, smart, strange, compelling' Harriet Lane, bestselling author of Her
Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and suffering from a crippling inability to write, Delphine meets L.
L. embodies everything Delphine admires; sophisticated and unusually intuitive, she slowly but deliberately carves herself a niche in the writer's life. However, as she makes herself indispensable to Delphine, the intensity of this unexpected friendship manifests itself in increasingly sinister ways. And as their lives become further entwined, L. begins to threaten Delphine's identity and her safety.