What You Need From The Night

Laurent Petitmangin

Translated by Shaun Whiteside
01 February 2024
160 pages


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

'Affecting and haunting'

After the death of his wife, a father in a forgotten corner of France raises his two sons alone. But their town is not one of opportunity, and the boys are heading down different paths. Gillou sets his sights on university in Paris while Fus falls in with the local far-right group, searching for meaning and belonging with dangerous friends.

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

Tense, sharp and ultimately heartbreaking, Laurent Petitmangin's first novel, What You Need From The Night, 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

A triumph of tamped power and unsutured emotion . . . one of the most exquisite debuts I’ve read for some time
Affecting and haunting
A short blast of a novel: a howl of pain, impotence and rage. The prose, fluently translated by Shaun Whiteside, is precise and unadorned