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Birth of a Bridge

From one of the most exciting novelists writing in France today comes this literary saga of a dozen men and women -- engineers, designers, machinery operators, cable riggers -- all employees of the international consortium charged with building a bridge somewhere in a mythical and fantastic California. Told on a sweeping scale reminiscent of classic American adventure films, this Medicis Prize--winning novel chronicles the lives of these workers, who represent a microcosm of not just mythic California, but of humanity as a whole. Their collective effort to complete the megaproject recounts one of the oldest of human dramas, to domesticate -- and to radically transform -- our world through built form, with all the dramatic tension it brings: a threatened strike, an environmental dispute, sabotage, accidents, career moves, and love affairs ...Here generations and social classes cease to exist, and everyone and everything converges toward the bridge as metaphor, a cross-cultural impression of America today. Kerangal's writing has been widely praised for its scope, originality, and use of language. The style of her prose is rich and innovative, playing with different registers (from the most highly literary to the most colloquial slang), taking risks and inventing words, and playing with speed and tension through grammatical ellipsis and elision. She employs a huge vocabulary and, most strikingly, brings together words not often combined to evoke startling comparisons. Not since Vikram Seth's Golden Gate has such a great Californian novel been told.
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Promotional Information

Co-op availableGalleys available: by request, open to suggestionsNational Print Campaign:Send advance copies to the following publications:SF interest: SF Chronicle, SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, East Bay Express, 7x7, San Francisco MagazineGeneral interest: The Believer, Bookforum, Bomb, The Atlantic, The NY Times, NYTBR, LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, People Mag, The Oregonion, The Miami Herald, Harper's, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Washington Post, Village Voice, Vanity Fair, AP, NY Mag, PaperMag, Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Winnipeg Free PressTrades: Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, Quill & Quire, Books in CanadaNational TV & Radio Campaign:Send advance copies to the producers and hosts of the following programs/stations in cities where the author has lived, along with places where Maylis de Kerangal has traveled, focusing on literary programs:Golden, CO (outside Denver): KGNU 88.5 FM (public radio)San Francisco, CA: KGNU 88.5 FM (UC Berkeley)Online & Social Media Campaign:Pitch interviews & reviews to: Bay Area Francophile List (, The Rumpus, The A.V. Club, Largehearted Boy, Identity Theory, New Yorker's Book Bench, Bookslut, Shelf Awareness, Goodreads, Wikipedia. The Awl, The Hairpin, Jezebel, Slate, Daily Beast's Book Bag, The Atlantic Wire, LARB, NYRB,, Autostraddle, Ladygunn, the comedy podcast/blog Baby Geniuses, Flavorwire Promote on social media:Maylis de Kerangal has more than 459 Facebook fans Promote on social media:Talonbooks has more than 5,000 unique visitors a month to our website, 470 subscribers to our e-newsletter, 670 Facebook Likes, and 3,166 Twitter followers.General E-book Plan: e-book available, e-ISBN will be on all press materials and the Talonbooks websiteGeneral Tour Info: The author will take part in a month-long nationwide tourFestivals: Blue Metropolis (Montreal), Open Book Toronto, Calgary, VancouverExcerpts: We'll pitch to The Rumpus, Jezebel, The Hairpin,, McSweeney'sPromotion through author's Facebook pageBlurbs forthcoming from: Kevin Starr, Louise Rogers Lalaurie

About the Author

Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several novels in French. Her most recent, Naissance d'un pont / Birth of a Bridge, won le prix Medicis and le prix Franz Hessel. Jessica Moore is the author of Everything, Now, part lyric, part memoir, published in 2012 published by Brick Books. In the same year, Talonbooks published her translation of Jean-Francois Beauchemin's Turkana Boy. She also writes songs and plays the banjo -- her band, Charms, launched a self-titled album in 2010 in Toronto.

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