August 2012, 352 pages
In Paris, a demonstration spins out of control and degenerates into rioting. The country is on the verge of revolution. Years later, four friends look back over that extraordinary day. All four have been deeply affected by the rioting. Over the course of a single afternoon, they each describe what they have done with their lives since that day. But make no mistake, they are really talking to themselves, telling the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Then, by coincidence, they all attend the same conference. They spend a night outside of time, outside of the real world, contemplating what has become of their friendship, their dreams, their convictions and their sense of humor. Together they face up to the memories and the ghosts which time had erased, and which they had done their best to forget.
A L'ABRI DU DECLIN DU MONDE is the novel of a generation. The one of lost illusions, the one for which rejecting the establishment was the only way to exist. Cusset’s writing is firm, lyrical, precise and inspired. Both profound and poetic, this novel bears witness to an era that forged our society, the last vestige of a more ideological time.
François Cusset was born in 1969. He is a professor of American civilization at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, and contributes to several French and American journals. He has written several essays in the fields of intellectual history and contemporary politics. A L'ABRI DU DECLIN DU MONDE is his first novel.