A Man With No Title

A Man With No Title

Translated by William Rodarmor

This item will be released 5 September 2024
N/A Hardback 128pp

About the Book

Mohand-Said Ait-Taleb is an enigma. Living in France but ravaged by memories of the war in Algeria, he has withdrawn into his own world, away from his wife and children. When his son Xavier discovers articles by Albert Camus describing the appalling conditions his father grew up in, he starts to piece together the story of his life.

Xavier retraces the steps of this dignified, illiterate and strong-willed man: from Kabylia – where starving children, like Mohand-Said, fought with dogs for scraps – to the metal factory in Normandy, where his father would spend the rest of his days, consumed with providing for his family. It is there that Xavier discovers his love of books. When he breaks with conservative family traditions and confesses his attraction to men, Xavier will find which doors slam closed and which will open.

A Man With No Title is a beautiful and moving tribute to a father, to the immigrants condemned to undertake the hardest work for meagre reward, and to the power of literature to transcend class.

About the Author

Xavier Le Clerc is a celebrated French Algerian novelist and poet. His third novel Un homme sans titre was met with wide critical acclaim in France where it was awarded four literary prizes: the Prix de l’Académie des Belles Lettres et des Sciences Caen, the Prix de la Grande Mosquée de Paris, the Prix du live de La Tribune and the Grand Prix du Roman Métis. Le Clerc holds two Master’s degrees from the Sorbonne, in Human Sciences and in Comparative Literature. Born Hamid Aït-Taleb, he changed his name in his early thirties because of discrimination he faced. Born in Kabylia, Algeria, Xavier grew up in Normandy and now lives with his husband between Paris and Kent.

About the Translator

William Rodarmor is a veteran French literary translator, writer and editor. He has translated some forty-five books and screenplays in genres ranging from literary fiction to espionage and fantasy. His recent translations include Article 353 by Tanguy Viel; The Blumkin Project by Christian Salmon; And Their Children After Them by Nicolas Mathieu, which won the 2021 Albertine translation prize; and The State of Israel vs. the Jews by Sylvain Cypel. His translation of Tamata and the Alliance by Bernard Moitessier won the Lewis Galantiere Award from the American Translators Association.


‘A beautiful and achingly tender tribute to a father'
Leila Slimani

‘Thank you for your story which does justice to your father, to his lifelong journey marked by violence, colonisation, war and work.’
Annie Ernaux

‘We have fallen for this novel, which questions exile, identity, class struggle. It’s a beautiful novel, sensitive, magnificently written. It has shaken us to our core.’
France Inter

‘Here literature is not a settling of accounts, nor a torrent of tears, it is a march forward towards understanding one’s history and oneself.’
Le Figaro Littéraire

‘A poignant story, a tribute to a father who transmitted to him a saving rage.’