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In present-day France a Russian writer recalls his harsh childhood at a Stalingrad orphanage in the 1960s and the old Frenchwoman, a family friend, whose tales fed his dreams of a better world. One story in particular has stayed with him: that of her brief, passionate affair, during World War II, with the French fighter pilot Jacques Dorme, who subsequently died in a plane crash in the Siberian mountains. So the narrator decides to retrace Jacques Dorme's steps, beginning a journey which leads him t only to revisit the land of his birth but also to see his adopted homeland in an unflattering new light. A profound and moving vel about the dangers of ideology and of war, delivered with humour, sensuousness and great lyricism.
Andrei Makine was born in Siberia but has lived in France since 1987. He is the author of nine novels including LE TESTAMENT FRANCAIS, which won both the Prix Goncourt and Prix Medicis, and has gone on to sell over a million copies in France alone and to be published in translation in twenty-nine countries.