Thursday 2nd November
Topping & Company Booksellers of Edinburgh, 2 Blenheim Place, Edinburgh EH7 5JH
We are honoured to join Mathias Enard in celebrating the publication of his exceptionally titled The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers' Guild (Fitzcarraldo Editions). Amongst Mathias' many accolades include the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Decembre, the Liste Goncourt/Le Choix de l'Orient, the Prix litteraire de la Porte Doree the Prix du Roman-News, the 2017 Leipziger Book Award for European Understanding, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori. Mathias was also shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for Compass.
The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers' Guild
To research his thesis on contemporary agrarian life, anthropology student David Mazon moves from Paris to La Pierre-Saint-Christophe, a village in the marshlands of western France. Determined to capture the essence of rurality, the intrepid scholar shuttles around on his moped to interview local residents. Unbeknownst to David, in these nondescript lands, once theatres of wars and revolutions, Death leads the dance. When an existence ends, the Wheel of Life recycles its soul and hurls it back into the world as microbe, human or wild animal, sometimes in the past, sometimes in the future. Only once a year do Death and the living observe a temporary truce, during a gargantuan three-day feast where gravediggers gorge themselves on food, libations and language. Brimming with Mathias Enard's characteristic wit and encyclopaedic brilliance, The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers' Guild is a riotous novel where the edges between past and present are constantly dissolving against a Rabelaisian backdrop of excess - and a paradoxically macabre paean to life's richness.