This breathless novel has all the beauty of a Greek tragedy. It is also a hymn to creation and a meditation on the relationship between the body and consciousness, life and death.
Far from being the simple tale of a heart transplant, this novel is a true epic, a great modern saga that investigates our relationship with death as much as our relationship with language.
A true novel, a great novel, an extraordinary novel.
Maylis de Kerangal navigates perfectly between the epic and the intimate; let's just say that her writing will shake you to your very core.
Heartbreaking; I've seldom read a more moving book... De Kerangal is a master of momentum, to the extent that when the book ends, the reader feels bereft. She shows that narratives around illness and pain can energize the nobler angels of our nature and make for profoundly lovely art. One longs for more
A thrilling opening sequence, well-suited to her urgent, breathless, visceral prose ... this extraordinary novel etches itself in the mind ... There is a flamboyant artistry at work, yet Maylis de Kerangal is confronting a reality that is all too real
The story unfolds in an intricate lacework of precise detail. These characters feel less like fictional creations and more like ordinary people, briefly illuminated in rich language ... an exploration not only of death but of life, of humanity and fragility
Among the most fascinating writers of her generation. With Mend the Living, Maylis de Kerangal attains even greater heights
A novel that goes to the heart of what it means to be a human being
From its glorious 300-word first sentence to the stately canopic imagery of its climactic scenes, Mend the Living, beautifully translated from the French by Jessica Moore, mimics the rhythm of the processes it depicts - the troughs and peaks of grief and protocol, of skills utilised and acceptance finally achieved.
A metaphorical and lyrical exploration of the journey of one heart and two bodies . . . Compelling, original and ambitious, this novel illuminates what it is to be human.