In this nominally true story of an epic, transcontinental road trip, Jean Rolin travels to Africa from darkest France, accompanying a battered Audi to its new life as a taxi to be operated by the family of a Congolese security guard. The ghost of Joseph Conrad haunts Rolin’s journey, as do memories of his expatriate youth in Kinshasa in the early 1960s—but no less present are W. G. Sebald and Marcel Proust, who are the guiding lights for Rolin’s sensual and digressive attack upon history: his own as well as the world’s. By turns comic, lyrical, gruesome, and humane, The Explosion of the Radiator Hose is a one-of-a-kind travelogue, and no less an exploration of what it means to be human in a life of perpetual exile and migration.
Translated by Louise Rogers Lalaurie
Publication: French Literature Series
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 160
Publication date: 4/5/2011
List price: $13.95