Francis Mirkovic, a French born Croat who has been working for the French Intelligence Services for fifteen years, is travelling by train from Milan to Rome. With him he has a briefcase, whose contents he is selling to a representative of the Vatican, which contains information about the violent history of the Zone: Spain, Algeria, Leban and Italy, that have become his speciality. Over the course of a single night, Mirkovic reflects on his memories of the tragedies and violence that has occoured there and his own part in it as well as on the woman he loves.
Mathias Enard has won numerous prizes for his works, including the the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Decembre for his novel Zone. He is currently a professor of Arabic at the University of Barcelona. Charlotte Mandell has translated works from a number of important French authors, including Proust, Flaubert, Genet, Maupassant, and Blanchot, among others. She received a Literary Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her translation of Enard's Zone. Brian Evenson is a translator from French and the author of ten books of fiction, including The Open Curtain, which was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award.