Patrick DEVILLE, Author of “Plague & Cholera” Visits HKU-PRP (5 March 2013)

The author of “Plague & Cholera” Patrick DEVILLE was in Hong Kong where Alexandre YERSIN discovered the plague bacillus in 1894.

Patrick DEVILLE with Dr Isabelle DUTRY and Dr François KIEN followed the footsteps of Alexandre YERSIN in Tai Ping Shan street where the bubonic plague erupted into this overcrowded Chinese quarter in May 1984. He visited the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences where a bronze portrait statue of YERSIN was unveiled in 2009 as a tribute to his role in identification and isolation of the bacillus Yersinia pestis in June 1894.

Patrick DEVILLE also visited HKU-Pasteur Research Pole and met Dr Roberto BRUZZONE who presented our research and teaching activities and the Institut Pasteur International Network.


At the end of the day, the FEMINA 2012 prizewinner signed and presented his book to the French-speaking community at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong.

This event was part of the French-speaking Festival in Hong Kong (March 5-22, 2013).




About Yersin (1863-1943): Born 150 years ago in Switzerland, Yersin studied medicine first in Lausanne and then in Marburg, Germany. He joined the Institut Pasteur in 1886. Though mostly known as the discoverer of the bubonic plague bacillus, he was also remembered by many for introducing various plants and agricultural techniques and creating Pasteur institutes in Vietnam. He died 70 years ago in Nha Trang.

About the author:
 French cosmopolitan writer and great traveller, Patrick DEVILLE (born in 1957) is the Director of the Maison des Ecrivain Etrangers et des Traducteurs in Saint-Nazaire, France and its related journal. His books have been translated into a dozen languages.

About the book:
 Plague and Cholera is described as a "brilliant, absorbing, multi-layered novel" which relates Yersin’s story "but it is also a haunting rumination on the difficult birth of the twentieth century; on science, literature and art; on nationalism, colonialism and war; on the demands of progress and the pursuit of adventure.".