A Degree of Separation
Un degré de séparation
A lonely childhood, an unknown father, a brilliant but distant mother…and a photography that could well transform their heritage. A fine and moving first novel about the quest for one’s origins.
For many years now, the once famous American author Frederic
Altman has been unable to write a single word. His creative breakdown –some would call it a total breakdown– seemingly came out of the blue. But when his mother dies, an old photograph he finds amongst her possessions has a profound effect on him: could the young man next to his mother in the photo, taken around the time of his birth, be the father he never knew? The discovery fires his imagination and desire for the truth. While looking back on key moments of his life as an only child in a family torn by war and exile, the writer-narrator undertakes a complex investigation which leads him to a respected Parisian scientist. Completing this quest seems vital to his wellbeing, and could even reignite his inspiration. But while secrets can be toxic, the truth is sometimes even harder to grasp.
Pablo Mehler was born in the US to Argentinian parents, and has spent most of his life in France, where his family emigrated in the late 1960’s. He worked as a film producer until 2015, before focusing exclusively on writing. He has penned a collection of short stories, Derrière les grilles du Luxembourg (Éditions Moires, Prix Ozoir’elles 2014) and scripted a feature film currently in production (Il s’appelle Naël, Moana Films). Un degré de séparation is his first novel.