Penguin Books releases Samira Sedira’s novel “People Like Them”
Carmac is a small, homogenous town in the French mountains where everyone knows each other…and their business. But when a new family arrives—Bakary and Sylvia Langlois and their three children—Anna and Constant Guillot sense that something is about to change. Compared to the rest of Carmac, the Langlois family is extremely wealthy, with expensive cars and an extravagant chalet. And in a town where everyone is white, the Langloises are the only mixed-race family.
But despite their differences, Anna and Constant and Bakary and Sylvia become friends. As their relationship becomes more complicated and entangled—Anna becomes their housekeeper and Constant gets involved with Bakary’s business—both families are forced to a breaking point that comes to a horrific end.
Inspired by the Flactif Affair of 2003, PEOPLE LIKE THEM (Penguin Books Original; 7/6/21; $17) by Samira Sedira, a French-Algerian writer, is an engrossing tale of suspense, with a narrative voice that grips from the first page and incisive psychological insight that raises questions about class, race, marriage, and what it takes to commit a terrible crime.
This is Sedira’s first novel to be translated into English and as a former housekeeper herself, she has created sharp and true-to-life characters and tense narrative that ratchets up until the very last page. Addressing themes also found in The Perfect Nanny and Little Fires Everywhere and clocking in at under 200 pages, PEOPLE LIKE THEM is the perfect, propulsive one-day binge read for the height of summer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Samira Sedira is a novelist, playwright, and actress who was born in Algeria and moved to France with her family when she was very young. In 2008, after two decades of acting for film and the stage, she became a cleaning woman, an experience that inspired her autobiographical novel L’odeur des planches (The Smell of the Stage). People Like Them is her fourth novel and the first to be translated into English.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR: Lara Vergnaud is an award-winning translator who specializes in North African literature.
PEOPLE LIKE THEM
by Samira Sedira; Translated by Lara Vergnaud Penguin Books Original ▪ $17.00 ▪ On sale July 6, 2021 ▪ ISBN: 9780143136279
Also available as an e-book and audiobook
“A potent little mélange of psychological suspense and racial tension…lulling and then horrifying the observer in its portrayal of village life gone terribly wrong.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Sedira packs a powerful punch, exploring the class-race divide…Deeply unsettling yet compulsively readable.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sedira’s gripping tale…depicts how the realities of race, class, and socioeconomic status tragically supersede the national ideals of liberty, equality, and brotherhood.”
“[A]n honest, but sensitive, portrayal of a confluence of events and timing that leads to the murder of an entire family…This is the kind of book that you shouldn’t pick up late at night, because you won’t be putting it down again any time soon. People Like Them is the best kind of compulsive, and will keep you glued to its pages until they’re done.”—Mystery & Suspense Magazine “Icy and chilling, People Like Them is an investigation both of a crime and of the society that nurtured it. The novel’s precise, vivid writing brings to mind two other knock-outs from France, The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrere and Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vignan. In sharply drawn sentences, Sedira summons the beauty of a small French village, and the shocking acts of the people inside it.” —Flynn Berry, Edgar Award-winning author of Under the Harrow and Northern Spy
“Unflinching. Every word in this crisply told story matters, and every seemingly-casual moment is laced with dread, daring you to look away. You won’t.”—Ani Katz, author of A Good Man