23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Alain Damasio
© François Grivelet

Alain Damasio

Alain Damasio was born in Lyon in 1969. He abandoned his studies at a business school to write. In his work, which is significantly influenced by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, he devotes himself above all to the organization of the world and human coexistence. He often creates dystopian-looking future scenarios that unfold their political dimension by drawing from contemporary phenomena and taking them a step further. His playful use of the French language – exemplified by Alain Damasio’s preference for neologisms – is another typical component of his work.

In 1999, he presented his debut novel, »La Zone du Dehors« (tr: The Outer Zone), which is set in the year 2084 on an imaginary satellite of Saturn. There, citizens gather every two years to evaluate each other according to their behaviour, work efficiency, and other criteria. The result determines the place of the individual in society until a countermovement with subversive actions undermines the system. His second novel, »La Horde du Contrevent« (2006; tr: The WindWalkers), was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, a prestigious French prize for fantasy literature, and became a bestseller in France. It centers on a group of 22 people who march together »upstream« against a relentless and constantly changing wind, because they suspect the end of the world is at its point of origin. In addition to the novel, a soundtrack composed by Arno Alyvan was released. In 2019, Alain Damasio published his latest novel, »Les Furtifs« (tr: The Stealthies), which again became a bestseller in France and won the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire. In it, Damasio creates a future scenario in which cities have been bought up by large corporations and divided into different administrative zones – the privileges the citizens there enjoy depends on how much they pay. Every action is recorded and results in charges or targeted advertising. In Orange, a city owned by the telecommunications company of the same name, Lorca Varèse searches for his daughter Tishka, who inexplicably disappeared at the age of four. While Lorca’s wife Sahar assumes a kidnapping, Lorca believes his daughter is with the titular »stealthies«. These enigmatic, mutable beings elude the human eye as well as all monitoring devices. Lorca joins a military unit that specializes in hunting down the fugitives … A soundtrack was also released for this novel, developed by Alain Damasio in collaboration with composer Yan Péchin.

The author lives in Marseille.


La Zone du Dehors


Paris, 1999


La Horde du Contrevent

La Volte

Clamart, 2004


Die Flüchtigen

Matthes & Seitz Berlin

Berlin, 2021

[Ü: Milena Adam]