A New York Times Book of the Year
After being diagnosed with AIDS, Herve Guibert wrote this devastating, darkly humorous and personal novel, chronicling three months in the penultimate year of the narrator’s life. In the wake of his friend Muzil’s death, he goes from one quack doctor to another, from holidays to test centres, and charts the highs and lows of trying to cheat death.
On publication in 1990, the novel scandalized French media, which quickly identified Muzil as Guibert’s close friend Michel Foucault. The book became a bestseller, and Guibert a celebrity. The book has since attained a cult following for its tender, fragmented and beautifully written accounts of illness, friendship, sex, art and everyday life. It catapulted Guibert into notoriety and sealed his reputation as a writer of shocking precision and power.