During the German advance through Belgium into France in 1940, Captain de Reixach is shot dead by a sniper. Three witnesses, involved with him during his lifetime in different capacities - a distant relative, an orderly and a jockey who had an affair with his wife - remember him and help the reader piece together the realities behind the man and his death. A groundbreaking work, for which Claude Simon devised a prose technique mimicking the mind's flexible thought processes, "The Flanders Road" is not only a masterpiece of stylistic innovation, but also a haunting portrayal - based on a real-life incident - of the chaos and savagery of war.
Born in Madagascar and raised in France, Claude Simon (1913-2005) served in the French Resistance during the Second World War and went on to become one of the leading exponents of the Nouveau Roman, a 1950s movement advocating formal experimentation in fiction. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1985.