Mavrikakis''s Deuils cannibales et mélancoliques is a fascinating first novel by a professor of French literature. The ‘story'' hovers between fiction and autobiography, though the reader is never sure where one ends and the other begins. Mavrikakis''s subject – death and mourning – is the extension of her previous academic work, particularly her study of the French author, Hervé Guibert, who wrote a trilogy of novels based on his personal battle with AIDS. Critics responded favourably to Mavrikakis''s new work, praising the superior quality of the author''s writing, the sardonic humour she maintains in the face of all the dying, and her interesting use of cultural allusions that demand familiarity with intellectual and popular icons. This book places Mavrikakis''s work within the context of new and established literary genres: thanatological writing, elegy and plague fiction, and AIDS-infected literature, and specifically, Guibert''s novels. The difficulties and challenges met during the translation process are explored. The English translation of the first half of this remarkable book is included with two excerpts that have special significance to the thrust of Mavrikakis''s fiction.