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Coca, Southern California. A small town on a wild river, at the margins of the red-rocked desert and the forest where the last of the state’s Native Americans still make their home.
When Boa, the charismatic new mayor, decides to put Coca on the map, he plans a monumental new project: a six-lane bridge, two hundred metres high, designed and destined to catapult the city into the third millennium.
Workers from across the globe flock to California: to earn a living, to escape their pasts, to bear witness to man’s mastery of nature. But the project’s majestic scope has no regard for the legacy of this ancient land, and within this monochrome Babel festers a very human cocktail of fears and passions.
At once timeless and yet exquisitely of its moment, Maylis De Kerangal’s multi-award-winning novel follows its broad cast of construction workers and architects, diggers and dreamers, as they navigate both the intricacies of their project and the depths of the human heart. Translated from the French by Jessica Moore
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