What You Need From The Night

Laurent Petitmangin

Translated by Shaun Whiteside
09 February 2023
160 pages


'One of the most exquisite debuts I've read for some time' Daily Telegraph

'Affecting and haunting'

After the death of his wife, a father raises his two sons alone. His bond with Fus, the eldest, and Gillou, the youngest, is a close one. But their town is not one of opportunity, and it soon becomes clear that the boys are heading down different paths. Gillou sets his sights on university in Paris. Fus, despite his socialist upbringing, falls in with the local far-right group. Though he joins mostly for the camaraderie, their activities, which might on the surface appear harmless, lead to a violent confrontation.

How can a father and son find common ground when everything seems set to break them apart? A sudden tragedy will force them to find an answer.

Tense, sharp and ultimately heartbreaking, Laurent Petitmangin's first novel, What You Need From The Night, shines a spotlight on lives that are unfolding in forgotten corners of France and asks what acts can truly be forgiven.

'A tragedy of unconditional love' - L'Obs

'Heartbreaking . . . haunts you long after you've put it down'- Libération

'As sublime as it is painful' - Le Parisien

Heartbreaking . . . haunts you long after you've put it down
A tragedy of unconditional love
As sublime as it is painful