Author(s): Mathias Enard
Francis Mirkovic, a French Intelligence Services agent for fifteen years, is travelling first class on the train from Milan to Rome. Handcuffed to the luggage rack above him is a briefcase containing a wealth of information about the war criminals, terrorists and arms dealers of the Zone - the Mediterranean region, from Barcelona to Beirut, from Algiers to Trieste, which has become his speciality - to sell to the Vatican. Exhausted by alcohol and amphetamines, he revisits the violent history of the Zone and his own participation in that violence, beginning as a mercenary fighting for a far-right Croatian militia in the 1990s. One of the truly original books of the decade, and written as a single, hypnotic, propulsive, physically irresistible sentence, Mathias Enard's Zone is an Iliad for our time, an extraordinary and panoramic view of violent conflict and its consequences in the twentieth century and beyond.
Mathias Enard studied Persian and Arabic and spent long periods in the Middle East. A professor of Arabic at the University of Barcelona, he won the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie and the Prix Edmee de la Rochefoucault for his first novel, La perfection du tir. He has been awarded many prizes for Zone, including the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Decembre. Charlotte Mandell has translated fiction, poetry, and philosophy from the French, including works by Proust, Flaubert, Genet, Maupassant, Blanchot, and many other distinguished authors. She has received many accolades and awards for her translations, including a Literature Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for Zone.