The Greats by Sylvain Prudhomme, Translated by Jessica Moore


The Greats by Sylvain Prudhomme, Translated by Jessica Moore



Winner of the 2015 Prix Littéraire de la Porte Dorée
Winner of the 2014 Prix Georges Brassens

Guinea-Bissau, 2012. Sylvain Prudhomme re-imagines the famous ’70s music group Super Mama Djombo, as seen through the eyes of Couto, the laconic guitarist. After learning of the death of the singer, Dulce—once the love of his life—Couto wanders through the capital city, from bar to bar, friend to friend. Thirty years file past in his memories: of the woman he loved, of guerillas fighting against Portuguese colonizers, and of the golden days of a legendary band that played all over the world with a sound that was new, fresh, and driven by the pride of an entire country.

The tension mounts as the group frantically prepares a final concert in Dulce’s honour, which must take place in just 24 hours. Little do they know, a coup d’ état is about to take place, executed by Dulce’s husband, Guinea-Bissau’s Army Chief of Staff.

Sylvain Prudhomme’s The Greats, translated by award-winning wordsmith Jessica Moore, is a novel of mourning, love, and the thirst for justice that tells the story of a population who knew hope and independence but now live under the oppressive rule of an army dictatorship.

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Praise for The Greats (Les grands):

“A magnificent ode to music, love, and friendship…. This book will change you.”

“Languorous and taut, Les grands is full of swing and style…. Readers will savour each note.”
Livres hebdo

Press Coverage for The Greats:

Most Anticipated Fall 2017 Fiction Preview —49th Shelf

Sylvain Prudhomme is considered one of the most exciting contemporary novelists in France. He has been steadily gaining in recognition and popularity over the past three years. In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Prix Littéraire de la Porte Dorée for his novel Les grands, which also won the Prix Georges Brassens in 2014, and was celebrated as one of 2014’s best books of the literary season.

Jessica Moore is a Toronto-based author and translator. Mend the Living, Moore’s translation of the novel by French author Maylis de Kerangal, was nominated for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, and won the 2017 Wellcome Prize. She also won a PEN America Translation Award for her translation of Turkana Boy (Talonbooks). Moore’s collection of poems, Everything, now (Brick), has been called “a powerful journey through love and loss—serving, ultimately, to unsettle any notion of a boundary between them.” She is the former VP for Ontario for the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada, a past BILTC participant, a Lannan writer-in-residence, and has appeared at the IFOA and in France at Le Festival VO/VF. Learn more at

September 5, 2017 | Fiction | Literature in Translation
8×5.25 inches | 226 pages
Condition: New
ISBN 9781771663465


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