A noted French playwright and novelist, Gaudé was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 2004 for The Sun of the Scorta. His latest novel to appear in English opens with Assem, a French intelligence officer, embarking on a mission to Beirut to find a former member of the U.S. Special Forces who’s suspected of drug trafficking while in Afghanistan. En route, Assem meets Miriam, an Iraqi archeologist racing against time to save ancient artifacts across the Middle East from ISIS. As the two share their stories, the narrative roams the wider history of warfare; touching on conflicts ranging from Hannibal's failed march on Rome to Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox to Emperor Haile Selassie's swift retreat from Ethiopia, the book becomes a thought-provoking meditation on what war does to humanity. With support from the French Embassy.