This gripping tale of the violent irruptions of the past into the present, from a major contemporary French writer, is a deft unravelling of the stories we hide from others - and from ourselves.

Buried deep in rural France, little remains of the isolated hamlet of the Three Lone Girls, save a few houses and a curiously assembled quartet: Patrice Bergogne, inheritor of his family’s farm; his wife, Marion; their daughter, Ida; and their neighbour, Christine, an artist.  

While Patrice plans a surprise for his wife’s fortieth birthday, inexplicable events start to disrupt the hamlet’s quiet existence: anonymous, menacing letters, an unfamiliar car rolling up the driveway. And as night falls, strangers stalk the houses, unleashing a nightmarish chain of events.  

The Birthday Party was longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023, announced on March 14 2023. 

The International Booker Prize 2023
Published by
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Publication date
 Laurent Mauvignier

Laurent Mauvignier

About the Author

Laurent Mauvignier was born in Tours in 1967 and published his first novel, Loin d’eux (Far from Them], in 1999.
More about Laurent Mauvignier
Daniel Levin Becker

Daniel Levin Becker

About the Translator

Daniel Levin Becker is a critic, editor and translator from Chicago, who now lives in Paris.
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This impressive and fascinating book reconciles two primal feelings: empathy and dread. It is a very scary book, rooted in the traditions of horror. It is as scary as when we listened to stories about ogres and wolves as children.

— The International Booker Prize 2023 panel of judges on 'The Birthday Party'