Miguel Bonnefoy, the solar writer highlights an inventor of the shadows

In 2013, “Young Writer” prize with Icarus and other short stories (Buchet-Chastel), Miguel Bonnefoy is the author of a multi-award winning work: Octavio’s Journey (2015, Five Continents Prize – special mention), Jungle (2016), black sugar (2017), and after being a resident in 2018-2019 at the Villa Medici, he published Legacy (2020) and today The inventor (Shores) (Replay).

The inventor

Here is the extraordinary destiny of Augustin Mouchot, son of a locksmith, professor of mathematics, who, in the middle of the 19th century, discovered solar energy.

The machine he built, nicknamed Octave, ended up seducing Napoleon III. Presented later at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878, she succeeded for the first time, among other prodigies, in making a block of ice by the sole force of the sun.

But the advent of the coal era ruined Mouchot’s project, which was deemed too costly. In a final dash, he will try to revive the fire of his invention by making “the desert bloom” under the Algerian sun.

With the savory verve that we know him for, Miguel Bonnefoy delivers in this novel the dazzling portrait of a forgotten genius. » (Presentation of Rivages editions)

► Author’s website: miguel bonnefoy.