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[Perspectives] The art of transplantation: Mend the Living

Mend the Living begins with the steady beat of 20-year-old Simon Limbeau’s heart as he rouses himself before dawn for a surfing trip with friends. The early pages of this novel by French writer Maylis de Kerangal celebrate Simon’s physical vigour and his emotional exuberance—his heart, both literal and figurative. De Kerangal describes him slipping onto the back of his first wave: he is euphoric, able “to grasp the whole explosion of his own existence, and to conciliate himself with the elements, to integrate himself into the living”.