Winner of the Prix Interallié, Florian Zeller’s The Fascination of Evil (La fascination du pire) is a thrillingly tense tale of murder, and a brilliant examination of Islam’s relatinship with the West.
When the narrator receives an invitation to visit Egypt as the guest of the French Embassy in Cairo, he anticipates a boring week of literary discussions and official dinners. He certainly does not foresee the extraordinary events that will ultimately lead to murder.From the start, his fellow author—Martin Millet—seems determined to stir up the tensions that underlie the politeness of Egyptian society. He offends Islamic sensibilities with his views on art and the novel, and worse: his entire stay degenerates into an obsessive search for an Egyptian woman willing to have sex with him. The atmosphere is one of mutual mistrust, bordering on open dislike, not just between the Muslim world and the West, but also between the two authors. As the narrator finds himself dragged ever deeper into Millet’s obsessions, he begins not only to fear for his own and Millet’s safety, but for the future of Western civilisation. When Millet disappears, he inevitably fears the worst…
‘One of the hottest literary talents in France’
— Chris Schuler, The Independent
‘An intellectual prodigy.’
‘A precocious literary success … paying homage to the author’s first literary hero, Milan Kundera.’
— New Statesman
Florian Zeller (born in 1979) is a critically acclaimed French novelist and playwright, the recipient of numerous literary awards, a university lecturer at the prestigious Sciences-Po in Paris, and a journalist for Paris Match, Vogueand Vol de Nuit. For his first novel Artificial Snow he received the Hachette Foundation Literary Prize, the Writing Talent Award from the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation and the New Writer Award from the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation.His third novel The Fascination of Evil, received the Prix Interallié, and he has been awarded the Prix Jeune Theatre de l’Academie Francaise for his plays. He lives in Paris with his wife, the model, actress and sculptor Marine Delterme. His novels Artificial Snow (Neiges Artificielles), Lovers or Something Like It (Les amants du n importe quoi), Julien Parme and The Fascination of Evil (La fascination du pire) are all available from Pushkin Press.