A LONG MEXICAN NIGHT
(Gallimard, 272 pages, 2018)
*** RIGHTS SOLD IN GERMAN (ROWOHLT) AND ITALIAN (RIZZOLI) ***
*** longlisted for the 2019 prix andre malraux ***
When his beloved cousin died in a car-crash with her lover on a highway along the Pacific, a young Mexican man inherited a suitcase. In it he discovered thousands of negatives of photos taken, five decades prior, by Capa, Gerda Taro, and Chim, the three famous Central-European photographers who covered the Spanish Civil War. And he didn’t know what to do : say nothing out of loyalty, and simply become their new guardian? Or make their existence known?
To reach a decision, he started researching the chain of successive proprietors of the suitcase, to reconstitute the long night during which the heroism, discretion and audacity of a few men and women saved these precious negatives.
And now, twenty years later, it is up to him to decide their new destiny...
A Long Mexican Night is Isabelle Mayault’s debut novel. It is not the story of Capa, Taro, and Chim: rather the story of the famous suitcase -and its successive proprietors- which was thought lost and suddenly reappeared in Mexico in 2007. No one knows what actually happened… so Isabelle Mayault offers this amazing tale.