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In 1919, in a small town in the province of Berry, France, under the crushing heat of summer heat wave, a war hero is being held prisoner in an abandoned barracks. In front of the door to his prison, a mangy dog barks night and day. Miles from where he is being held, in the French countryside, a young extraordinarily intelligent woman works the land the land, waiting and hoping. A judge whose principles have been sorely shaken by the war is travelling to an unknown location to sort out certain affairs of which it is better not to speak.
Three characters. In their midst, a dog who holds the key both to their destinies and to this intriguing plot.
Full of poetry and life, The Red Collar is at once a delightly simple narrative about the human spirit and a profound work about loyalty and love.
About the Author
Jean-Christophe Rufin is one of the founders of Doctors Without Borders and a former Ambassador of France in Senegal. He has written numerous bestsellers, including The Abyssinian, for which he won the Goncourt Prize for a debut novel in 1997. He also won the Goncourt Prize in 2001 for Brazil Red.
Adriana Hunter is a British translator of French Literature. She is known for translating more than fifty French novels, such as Fear and Trembling by Amélie Nothomb or The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa. In 2011 she won the Scott Moncrieff prize for her translation of Véronique Olmi's Beside the Sea.
Praise for The Red Collar
“The Red Collar is a superbly crafted little gem that does everything a novel can do in less than 150 pages [. . .] It's a lucky reader who gets to experience the power of The Red Collar.”
“Rufin has written a graceful, unpretentious little miracle, a morality play of immense skill.”
—The Irish Times
“The Red Collar has surprising narrative tension, an atmosphere that is at once breathless and brooding, and the resonance of fine poetry.”
—Books & Beats, KUER Radio
“A beautifully memorable and unusual story about war and what it does to us.”
—The Independent (UK)
"What does it mean to fight for what one loves? To act out of loyalty? Or out of solidarity? In The Red Collar, a delicate and poetic novel, Rufin examines that which makes us human."
"Without special effects, with simplicity and the pure pleasure of telling a story, Jean-Christophe Rufin explores the meaning of faithfulness, loyalty, and honor."
—Le Figaro (France)
“Rufin is at his best when evoking the complex blend of political convictions and ideologies that intermingled, sometimes violently, on the front lines.”
“The Red Collar may be short but it is a engaging story perceptively told in limpid prose, beautifully translated by Adriana Hunter.”
—We Love This Book