By Frederika Amalia Finkelstein
Translated by Christopher Elson & Isabel Cout
Survive presents a singular voice of the French ‘Bataclan Generation’—those most acutely conscious of the terrorist attacks in the mid-2010s—grappling with issues of memory or post-memory, trauma, and survivors’ dilemmas.
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Paperback ISBN: 9781646053049
eBook ISBN: 9781646053193
“I’m under twenty-five and I am unable to envision the future. I’m not the only one."
Finkelstein cuts across national and cultural contexts, from French to Argentinian and North American. This novel situates contemporary youth in a violence-saturated present with which they are all too familiar, yet from which many of them feel alienated in a plurality of difficult-to-define ways. Finkelstein touches on the challenge facing her generation: to understand their own lives as uniquely meaningful in the face of unending mass suffering.
Survive is concerned with the work of grieving for strangers—a grief which does not begin or end, but is rather a structural part of one’s being in the world. For Finkelstein, it is essential “[t]o abide. Deep inside what is dying, in the midst of the bullets going astray and the offenses accumulating, in the midst of the misunderstandings imposed on a face other than my own, on a body other than my own...to build a world that thinks, a world that gives, a world that beats—a living world.”
Frederika Amalia Finkelstein is a French writer and author of two novels: Forgetting and Surviving. Upon its 2014 release in France, Forgetting was met with great critical success and has since been translated into multiple languages. Both have been published in English translation by Isabel Cout and Christopher Elson (Deep Vellum).
Isabel Cout is a translator in Montréal, Québec. Her research concerns literary works by third generation authors (grandchildren of Holocaust survivors) who write about having ambivalent relationships to the traumatic memory they’ve inherited.
Christopher Elson has a background in Philosophy and French Studies and holds a doctorate in Contemporary Literature from Université Paris IV-Sorbonne. He is a member of the Joint Faculty of the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. He is currently editor of Dalhousie French Studies and music columnist for the Dalhousie Review. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife Kate.