As Night Follows Day

Pierre Moinot
Translated by Jody Gladding
ISBN 9781566491549 (hardcover)
Published in July 2001
MSRP $24.95
“(Moinot) recalls the best writers of prose... a discreet novelist who publishes only that which he has worked over and over... There are no simple people, only those who have not been studied – Moinot has always known this.”
-Angelo Rinaldi, Le Nouvel Observateur

“Rarely do writers know how, in following patiently the detours and meanderings of a sentence, to say everything there is to say about a sentiment, a setting, or an event. They are, perhaps, the little nephews of Proust. Pierre Moinot is one of them... One cannot resist reciting out loud these supple, undulating phrases... Truly remarkable.” MAGAZINE LITTÉRAIRE

“To allow us entrance into a world so perfectly in tune with the minds of these men of the earth, Moinot offers us, chapter after chapter, portraits of these characters who are, in their ordinariness, extraordinary. Little by little, these portraits which defy time invite us to recognize the lost gestures and moments, the little joys, the rays of sun and the storms of life.” LE FIGARO

France, 1949. The inhabitants of a little village in the Poitou region are outraged by the incomprehensible murder of two of their own men. Doors are now locked, guns are brought out of hiding and readied, neighbors are suspected – the very nature of the village has changed. Pierre Moinot, praised throughout his career for his ability to establish in his own writings an indelible sense of time and place, paints stirring portraits of the villagers at this crucial moment in their lives: Maria, the old servant woman still tortured by the memory of a past love; Adrien, the 12-year-old shepherd boy who encounters love and cruelty, fantasy and reality as he comes of age; Lortier, a retired archaeologist who returns to the place where he grew up only to find it haunted by his childhood memories; Alice, whose tender age does not allow her to fully understand her father's tragic death. Their lives become increasingly intertwined as they are confronted with the senseless crime, and the shocking climax only serves to remind the villagers and the reader that innocence lost can never be found again.

Published in France in 1998 to unanimous critical acclaim, As Night Follows Day is a marvelous portrait of rural France and a tender reflection on the ineluctable passing of time and the marriage of life and death, good and evil.

PIERRE MOINOT, born in 1920, has led a life filled with honors and distinction in literature, politics, military service, and the arts. A great friend of and collaborator with André Malraux (Man's Fate), his first short stories were published with the help of Albert Camus. Since then he has published over a dozen novels as well as works for the stage and for television, most notably An Ancient Enemy (Doubleday, 1965), Chasse Royale, Le guetteur d'ombre (Prix Femina 1979). and Jeanne d'Arc. He was elected in 1982 to the Académie Française, a literary society made up of forty “immortals” devoted to maintaining the purity of the French language.