By Jean Rolin
Translated by Louise Rogers Lalaurie
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
In this nominally true story of an epic, transcontinental road trip, Jean Rolin travels to Africa from darkest France, accompanying a battered Audi to its new life as a taxi to be operated by the family of a Congolese security guard. The ghost of Joseph Conrad haunts Rolin's journey, as do memories of his expatriate youth in Kinshasa in the early 1960s--but no less present are W. G. Sebald and Marcel Proust, who are the guiding lights for Rolin's sensual and digressive attack upon history: his own as well as the world's. By turns comic, lyrical, gruesome, and humane, "The Explosion of the Radiator Hose" is a one-of-a-kind travelogue, and no less an exploration of what it means to be human in a life of perpetual exile and migration.