The unsuspecting member of a hunting party in the French countryside, Tristan is out of place.
Cajoled into going by his wife, who is anxious to ingratiate herself with the locals of their new village, Tristan’s companions are Pastis-swilling tough guys with designs beyond catching dinner.
Gentle, reflective Tristan has no intention of killing anything, so when his shot inadvertently grazes a rabbit, he saves the animal and hides it in his bag before the others notice. Tristan soon finds himself deeply connected to the wounded rabbit, whose voice comes alive to share its wisdom with the young man.
Suddenly, the weather turns and a terrible storm descends upon the party, as well as their village. In the valley below, the rushing water exposes the close-knit community’s secrets and indiscretions, while Tristan and the rabbit must confront something far worse.
Praise for Hunting Party
"Desarthe’s prose is elegant and clear, and, like other recent French authors, she’s interested in larger existential questions: what it means to be a man, to be human, to live a courageous life."
—Publishers Weekly ,
"Piercingly pitch-perfect; highly recommended."
—Library Journal, *Starred Review*
"Sharply envisioned and refreshingly mysterious... a seemingly simple story that continually unfolds in unexpected and enchanting directions. "
—Ben Loory, author of TALES OF FALLING AND FLYING
"A deceptive narrative hook draws the reader in and an unsettling interplay of characters and repressed violence holds their attention."
—Tobias Carroll, Words Without Borders
"Agnès Desarthe’s HUNTING PARTY is a slim novel bursting with story, and like any good fairytale it achieves both menace and charm. "
—Michelle Bailat-Jones, National Book Critics Circle
"Although Tristan does not want to kill anything on a hunting trip, he accidentally hurts a rabbit and decides to nurse it back to health in secret, all while discovering the dark history of his new, tight-knit community. French author Agnès Desarthe tells Tristan’s story with urgency and passion, delving deep into the psyches of her characters."
—World Literature Today,