Plague and Cholera
A captivating novel about the brilliant scientist and polymath Alexandre Yersin, combining fact, fiction, science, art, and philosophy, this book was a French publishing sensation, shortlisted for every major literary award
Paris, May 1940. Nazi troops storm the city and at Le Bourget airport, on the last flight out, sits Dr. Alexandre Yersin, his gaze politely turned away from his fellow passengers with their jewels sewn into their luggage. He is too old for the combat ahead, and besides he has already saved millions of lives. When he was the brilliant young protégé of Louis Pasteur, he focused his exceptional mind on a great medical conundrum: in 1894, on a Hong Kong hospital forecourt, he identified and vaccinated against bubonic plague, later named in his honor Yersinia pestis. Swiss by birth and trained in Germany and France, Yersin is the son of empiricism and endeavor; but he has a romantic hunger for adventure, fueled by tales of Livingstone and Conrad, and sets sail for Asia. A true traveler of the century, he wishes to comprehend the universe. Medicine, agriculture, the engine of the new automobile, all must be opened up, examined, and improved. Ceaselessly curious and courageous, Yersin stands, a lone genius, against a backdrop of world wars, pandemics, colonialism, progress, and decadence.