Winner of the prestigious French first novel prize Le Prix Premiere Plume in 2022, Les Enfants Endormis (Sleeping Children) is the gripping story of a family in the French countryside in the early 1980s who are brutally confronted with the arrival of AIDS.
Mixing sociological investigation and personal history, Passeron explores the experiences of his uncle Désiré, who left the family home to study and travel, but fell prey to heroin addiction and contracted AIDS.
The book juxtaposes the fear, confusion, and loneliness of his family as they struggle to understand this new disease, and the work of French virologists racing against time to battle the epidemic. The virologists’ research formed the basis for the development of HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy, they were awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Passeron is based in France, where he teaches French literature and Humanities in a secondary school. He is working on his second novel.