On 27 October 1949, a Lockheed Constellation passenger plane left Paris for New York. Hours later, it disappeared on approach to its scheduled stopover in the Azores. It was found on a mountainside five miles from its intended landing zone. There were no survivors. Among those lost in the accident were heavyweight boxer Marcel Cerdan flying to New York for a world title fight; 30-year-old virtuoso violinist Ginette Neveu; Kay Kamen, Walt Disney's merchandising tsar; five Basque shepherds emigrating to America; a pilot who ran missions for the Free French during the war. Constellation tells the untold true stories of the forty-eight men and women who died on board, and paints a moving portrait of their place in the changing post-war world and of their hopes and dreams for the life awaiting them across the Atlantic. Adrien Bosc's magnetic debut novel is a memorial to an air disaster that happened half a century ago. But it is also a love song to the forgotten lives that every tragedy scatters around it like so much debris, and a poignant investigation into the nature of collective tragedy.
The best-selling debut novel based on the true story of a tragedy
Stellar ... the stories of disparate people pulled together, like stars into orbit, by the force of one tragic moment. Like all great novels, Constellation works in ever expanding circles ... a meditation on chance, destiny and the faults that lie sometimes in ourselves and sometimes in our stars Wall Street Journal Adrien Bosc's Constellation is a thrilling and humane reimagining of a plane crash, blending fact and fiction to reanimate a fading moment in history. A bold and spare novel that reminds us what fiction can do -- Jonathan Lee, author of High Dive Adrien Bosc meticulously and beautifully pieces together the destiny of the 48 passengers aboard the Constellation with a depth of imagination and heart that renders these long lost lives palpably present. It is the work of a gifted and elegant writer, one who seems to instinctually know how to breathe life into a fictional world. -- Dinaw Mengestu, author of All Our Names Constellation takes huge risks in its recreation of a tragedy, risks that are more than justified by this intelligent, moving and hugely affecting novel. His sketches of both the famous and unknown are masterfully concise portraits of lives we come to cherish, even in the moment of their death. This, combined with a dazzlingly idiosyncratic narrative, makes Adrien Bosc's debut a novel of considerable power and imaginative invention. -- Stuart Evers, author of Your Father Sends His Love Sublime, haunting, exuberant, Constellation turns a tragedy into a miracle. In reviving the victims of a doomed 1949 Air France flight, Adrien Bosc writes beautifully about coincidence and fate, including the greatest coincidence at all - that we are alive on earth together for a short time. Constellation is a novel of profound humanity. -- Nathaniel Rich A novel of realism propelled by energy and unique imagination. The mysterious plane crash of the Constellation in 1949 is revived within the pages of this magical novel. -- Gay Talese Slender yet ambitious ... echoing such classics as Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Ernest K. Gann's Fate Is the Hunter ... a profound meditation on the far-reaching interconnectedness of tragic events Publishers Weekly At once ambitious and accomplished in both narrative and prose style ... somewhere between story, historical investigation and homage, Constellation sparkles ... finds signs, symmetries which illuminate and join the dots between these forty-eight stars snuffed out on 27 October 1949. Le Figaro Subtle and contemporary ... an unsolvable investigation in which the fictional conflicts at every step with the real Liberation Clear, chromed, spare ... Bosc has unearthed all the secrets, yet swirls around this steel tomb as if its enigma were inexhaustible. As if Lockheed Constellation F-BAZN were still charting its course to who knows where Nouvel Observateur Bosc has combed the archives, investigated online and unearthed every piece of evidence to restore these fragments of prematurely shattered lives. L'Express
Adrien Bosc was born in Avignon in 1986. He is the founder of Editions du sous-sol and the magazines Desports and Feuilleton. Constellation is his first novel.