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  • $16.95

    ISBN: 9780889228894 | Paperback

    256 pages | Pub. Date: 20140909
    8.5 W × 5 H × 1 D inches
    Backlist | Fiction | Bisac: FIC019000
    Rights: WORLD

    Or find Birth of a Bridge in your local bookstore

From one of the most exciting novelists writing in France today comes Birth of a Bridge – the story of a handful of men and women of various backgrounds and classes, who assemble around the construction of a giant suspension bridge in Coca, a fictional city somewhere in a mythical and fantastic California.

Told on a sweeping scale reminiscent of classic American adventure films, this Médicis Prize–winning novel chronicles the lives of these individuals, who represent a microcosm of not just mythic California, but of humanity as a whole. Their collective effort to complete (or oppose) the mega-project recounts one of the oldest of human dramas, to domesticate – and to radically transform – our world through built form, with all the dramatic tension it brings: a threatened strike, an environmental dispute, sabotage, accidents, career moves, and love affairs … Here generations and social classes cease to exist, and everyone and everything converges toward the bridge as metaphor, a cross-cultural impression of America today.

De Kerangal’s writing has been widely praised for its scope, originality, and use of language. Her rich prose plays with different registers (from the most highly literary to the most colloquial slang) as well as speed and tension through grammatical ellipsis and elision. She employs a huge vocabulary and invents new relationships between words in a completely innovative use of language.

Winner 2010 Médicis Prize

Winner 2010 Franz Hessel Prize

“The whole narrative unfolds in a dreamlike manner, and Moore’s translation is elegant and sensitively attuned to the author’s wordplay and neologisms.”
Kirkus Reviews

“[An] audacious narrative … For all the satiric symbolism and the many cultural references and sideshows, this pragmatic, defiant story is, almost surprisingly, also about building a bridge. … sharp, original, funny and shocking, merciless in its multiple ironies. J.G. Ballard would have applauded it; Don DeLillo would smile wryly. Her prose is snappy, emphatic and muscular, and her use of language, as with names, is free-wheeling. Jessica Moore, the book’s translator, provides a three-page note on the linguistic challenges and unusual word choices. … The story, or rather the project, is the bridge; it is the centre. The humans are minor players. … Although this novel is blunt and plainspeaking, there are moments of beauty … an original, laconic, astute and relentlessly topical morality tale that scores several direct hits.”
Irish Times

By Maylis de Kerangal

Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several novels in French: Je marche sous un ciel de traîne (2000), La vie voyageuse (2003), Corniche Kennedy (2008), and Naissance d’un pont (translated here as Birth of a Bridge, winner of the Franz Hessel Prize and the Médicis Prize in 2010).

Read more about Maylis de Kerangal

Translated by Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore is an author and literary translator. Mend the Living, her translation of the novel by Maylis de Kerangal, was nominated for the 2016 Man Booker International and won the UK’s Wellcome Prize in 2017.

Read more about Jessica Moore

news | 2021-10-27
Maylis de Kerangal Special

…Living is also on special for $15! And finally, Birth of a Bridge tells the story of a handful of men and women of … a cross-cultural impression of America today. Birth of a Bridge is on special for $14! You can pick up all three … the correct book below, and add it to your cart. Birth of a Bridge Mend the Living Painting Time …

news | 2021-02-09
Painting Time Is Hot Off the Presses!

…aesthetic coming-of-age novel by the author of Birth of a Bridge and Mend the Living uses a succession of …

news | 2016-06-17
Two new reviews of Mend the Living

…in English as Mend the Living ($19.95) and Birth of a Bridge ($16.95). …

news | 2016-01-20
A look at what’s coming this spring

…Moore (the same remarkable team that brought us Birth of a Bridge), is the gripping story, taking place within …

news | 2015-02-16
Birth of a Bridge a “Frontrunner” in Competition for Best Translated Book Award 2015

Birth of a Bridge is up for Three Percent’s Best Translated Book … Award of 2015! Maylis de Kerangal’s Birth of a Bridge (2014, translated by Jessica Moore), is a … journal of translated literature, Three Percent), Birth of a Bridge has been included on the list of frontrunners … voice (in admirable translation) We wish Birth of a Bridge all the best in this competition! …

news | 2015-02-13
Book Review: Birth of a Bridge in the Bull Calf

…Issue #5.1, of Maylis de Kerangal’s 2014 novel, Birth of a Bridge (translated by Jessica Moore). Birth of a Bridge … interspersed with shorter, punchier ones. _Birth of a Bridge_’s vocabulary is extensive, making free use of …

news | 2015-02-06
Book Review: Birth of a Bridge in Three Percent

…In the latest issue, Christopher Iacono reviewed Birth of a Bridge (2014) by Maylis de Kerangal, translated by … that constantly move from place to place, Birth of a Bridge will stay with readers long after they finish it. …

news | 2015-01-26
Book Review: Birth of a Bridge in the Vancouver Sun

…Farrant reviewed Maylis de Kerangal’s novel Birth of a Bridge (translated by Jessica Moore) last weekend. She … “French novelist explores mythic themes in ‘Birth of a Bridge’” …

news | 2015-01-07
Our Best of 2014, According to the Year-End Lists

…(see here), and third on the list is the novel Birth of a Bridge by Maylis de Kerangal (translated by Jessica …

news | 2014-11-13
Launched! Our Fall 2014 “Septuplets”

…Blue The one novel on the evening’s roster was Birth of a Bridge ($16.95) by Maylis de Kerangal, which is the … certainly didn’t hurt. Read an excerpt from Birth of a Bridge on Meta-Talon. Read Jessica’s thoughts on the … process on Meta-Talon. Jessica Moore reads from Birth of a Bridge Poet and professor Jeff Derksen then introduced …