Jean-Baptiste Del Amo’s Cultural Primers for The Son of Man

Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, author of The Son of Man, tr. Frank Wynne, publishing 23 May 2024, shares his list cultural primers that inspired the writing of his latest novel.

Reading Lists

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930)
I remember the opening vividly, Addie’s character waiting for her death, sitting at a window watching her son building her coffin. The memory I have from this reading probably influenced a scene at the end of The Son of Man. But I can’t spoil it, you’ll have to read it. 

The Banishment dir. by Andreï Zvyagintsev (2008)
I’ve chosen this film for its mythical dimension and sumptuous images. It’s the story of a man who  brings his wife and their children on a trip to his childhood home in the countryside.

Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth (1948)
I’ve always been fascinated by this painting, with its beauty and profound mystery.

‘Debris’ from Debris by Keeley Forsyth (2020)
A haunting and beautiful album that I discovered while working on my novel. 

The Shining by Stephen King (1977)
I was a big fan of King’s books as a teenager and he’s one of the authors who made me realize how much I wanted to tell stories.

A Whiter Shade of Pale from Procul Harum by Procol Harum (1967)
I included some of these beautiful and mysterious lyrics in the French edition of the novel. Much to my regret, it wasn’t possible to do so in the English edition due to copyright reasons. I suppose English readers will have to play the tune while reading, and perhaps slow dance.