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Standing Heavy


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About the Author

GauZ' is an Ivorian author, journalist and screenwriter. After studying biochemistry, he moved to Paris as an undocumented student, working as a security guard before returning to the Cote d'Ivoire. His first novel, Standing Heavy, came out in 2014 and won the Prix des libraires Gibert Joseph, and was followed by Comrade Papa, which won the 2019 Prix Ethiophile, and Black Manoo. GauZ' is the editor-in-chief of the satirical economic newspaper News & co, and has written screenplays and documentary films.


Beautifully written from the point of view of a Black, Marxist security guard, Standing Heavy is one of those rare, transformative novels. Beware: it might make your next shopping trip somewhat trickier

A funny and poignant intergenerational tale of three Ivoirian men newly arrived in Paris. And a sharp social and political commentary, delivered via the sharp eyes of the black security guards that white Paris relies on to keep itself safe.
*author of The Majesties and translator of International Booker-longlisted Happy Stories, Mostly*

Dura lex sed... dura! The harsh standing life of an immigrant. A pataphysical ethnography of the consumer society written by an undocumented anthropologist with an exemplary critical humour
*author of Down and Out in England and Italy*

This inventive and very funny debut novel offers a whistle-stop, whizz-bang tour of Franco-African history

This compact, humane satire, deftly translated by Frank Wynne, entertains as much as it informs.
*Financial Times*

I ended up laughing out loud
*Huffington Post*

Gauz castigates the excesses of our society with a humorous first novel in which political satire takes on airs of a poetry slam
*Stylist (France)*

Brutal, fierce and often awkward, this little book will feel like a body search

An alert, offbeat and indispensable book
*La Nouvelle Vie Ouvrière*

A cunning observer and a disenchanted protestor, Gauz makes shopping an ethnological mine, a priceless sketch and a combat sport

What an eye! Gauz saw everything, observed everything, analysed everything during his experiences as a security guard. He takes a dive in time and into the territory of the Ivorians of Paris. The whole French immigration policy emerges through this book . . . Fresh and witty

A powerful book

Full of hilarious observations
*Le Figaro*

A formidable keenness of observation and a sarcastic wit
*La Croix*

A tender and ironic look at our consumer society

Gauz honours the sufferings, pitfalls and joys of the African community in Paris, by painting a grotesque portrait of our consumer society

Gauz casts a tender, yet lucid gaze on the African community. By devoting a book to the shadowy men of security, Gauz finally gives voice and life to those who, oddly enough, are invisible
*Le Matricule des Anges*

Under the guise of fun, the author shows the pathos of the buying fever in the West, mixing the madness of the sales with the history of Ivorians in Paris
*Nouvel Observateur*

No-one is spared in this biting, satirical account of cosmopolitan life
*New Internationalist*

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