WINNER of the 2008 NOBEL PRIZE in LITERATURE. The Prospector is the crowning achievement from one of France’s preeminent contemporary novelists and a work rich with sensuality and haunting resonance. It is the turn of the century on the island of Mauritius, and young Alexis L’Etang enjoys an idyllic existence with his parents and beloved sister: sampling the pleasures of privilege, exploring the constellations and tropical flora, and dreaming of treasure buried long ago by the legendary Unknown Corsair. But with his father’s death, Alexis must leave his childhood paradise and enter the harsh world of privation and shame. Years later, Alexis has become obsessed with the idea of finding the Corsair’s treasure and, through it, the lost magic and opulence of his youth. He abandons job and family, setting off on a quest that will take him from remote tropical islands to the hell of World War I, and from a love affair with the elusive Ouma to a momentous confrontation with the search that has consumed his life. By turns harsh and lyrical, pointed and nostalgic, The Prospector is “a parable of the human condition” (Le Mond) by one of the most significant literary figures in Europe today.
The Barnes & Noble Review
J.M.G. Le Clézio’s novel The Prospector is a tale told in shimmering prose about a quest for buried treasure. Set on the remote island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, a place of paradisal beauty, the story is based on the life of Le Clézio’s French grandfather, who lived there at the turn of the last century.
The French-born Le Clézio, who won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, has said that he regards Mauritius as his true ancestral home, and in this novel he depicts it as an Eden destroyed by colonizers — British, Dutch, and his own ancestors, the French — who began arriving there in the 16th century.