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Sam Taylor

Civilisations by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor

September 2021, no. 435

Acclaimed as the most original novel of the 2019 rentrée littéraire, and recipient of the Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie Française, Laurent Binet’s most recent book, Civilisations (2019), is a cleverly crafted uchronia, or speculative fiction. The author is inviting us on an epic journey that devises alternative key moments in history, from a Viking tale to an Italian travel diary, and from the Inca chronicles to the capricious destiny of Cervantes. Let the adventure of counterfactuals begin …

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HHhH  by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor

September 2012, no. 344

What we need from history is a sense of narrative. The masses of statistics, dates, artefacts, and voices are nonsensical without it. Laurent Binet’s HHhH, winner of the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman and the 2011 Prix des Lecteurs du Livre de Poche, is a loving tribute to the Czech resistance, and to all who resisted the Nazification of Europe in the first few terrifying years ...