Hailed as a masterpiece, Jean Rouaud’s first novel, Fields of Glory, was awarded France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, and sold over a million copies worldwide. Of Illustrious Men establishes as fact what the first novel promisedthat Rouaud is a writer of remarkable power, subtlety, and originality. Lovingly set in the same region as Fields of Glory, the novel is about the author’s father, Joseph, and a traveling salesman who died at forty-one and left a family in shock behind him. In the mind of the grieving eleven-year-old sontoo young to have really known himhis father was a hero, a warrior, a legend of the Resistance during World War II. But the narrator is no longer that eleven-year-old boy; he is a mature and gifted writer. And though he may still ache for the loss of his father, he also knows that Joseph’s illustriousness can be found not only in the heady days of wartime glory but in moments of domestic tranquility. Of Illustrious Men evokes scenes of both war and peace with exquisite beauty and understated and poignant tenderness.
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