The Explosion of the Radiator Hose: A Novelby Jean Rolin
In this nominally true story of an epic, transcontinental road trip, Jean Rolin travels to Africa from darkest France, accompanying a battered Audi to its new life as a taxi to be operated by the family of a Congolese security guard. The ghost of Joseph Conrad haunts Rolin's journey, as do memories of his expatriate youth in Kinshasa in the early 1960s—but no less present are W. G. Sebald and Marcel Proust, who are the guiding lights for Rolin's sensual and digressive attack upon history: his own as well as the world's. By turns comic, lyrical, gruesome, and humane, The Explosion of the Radiator Hose is a one-of-a-kind travelogue, and no less an exploration of what it means to be human in a life of perpetual exile and migration.
Meet the Author
Jean Rolin is a French writer and journalist, the winner of the 1988 Albert
for journalism, and the 1996
Prix Médicis for his novel
L’organisation. As a student, he
was closely involved—along with
his older brother Olivier (the author
of Hotel Crystal)—in the May
’68 uprising. He is the author of
essays, novels, and short stories.
In 2006, his book L’Homme qui a
vu l’ours won the Prix Ptolémée.
Louise Rogers Lalaurie is a writer,
translator, and editor based near
Paris, where she has lived since
1991 with her French husband
and two sons.
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