A Month of French Authors/Un Mois d’Auteurs Français

Today for the letter G the French authors Pascal Garnier and Claudie Gallay

 

I thought I had never heard of Pascal Garnier (1949-2010) when my French friend suggested his name. So I looked him up.

When I read that he’s been compared to Patricia Highsmith and moreover to Georges Simenon, I mentioned his name to my husband who would have done anything to have diner with Simenon. He has his entire collection of novels related to the infamous Commissaire Maigret and any other of his books, including a few translated in English. So I assumed that if an author was compared to THE Simenon, my husband knew him.

The name sounds familiar, he told me at eleven p.m. as we were ready to go to bed. He left the room and came back a while later with a… book. Ha, he said, I knew I had read that guy.

Surclassements was published in 1987, only a few years before we left France. It’s a short book made of the three short stories, a genre we call “nouvelle” in France.

My husband has only read another book written by Pascal Garnier, and we were already living in California. He said he had liked the novel but insisted that the author should never be compared to Georges Simenon.

I’m sure you understand how partial we can be when we admire a certain author.

His opinion, however, doesn’t change the fact that Pascal Garnier has been translated in many languages and that his novels are available in the US. His Author Page on Amazon is quite well done, so I let you explore his biography and ample bibliography.

What I love most about this novelist is the fact that he quit school at the age of fifteeen, traveled the world, and finally settled back in France. In between odd jobs he wrote songs and dreamed of writing a longer piece. Some day. Like a book. Aware that his poor spelling and grammar were serious obstacles he wasn’t sure he could ever succeed. So. He wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Until he could submit his work. The rest is history.

 

Pascal Garnier (1949-2010) m’a été conseillé par mon amie bloggueuse qui adore ses romans noirs, écrits avec l’humour du désespoir, dit-elle. Elle l’a chroniqué plusieurs fois sur son blog. A partir de ce lien vous pourrez lire les quatre autres qui sont de très beaux éloges à un auteur disparu trop jeune.

Quant à moi j’ai adoré lire “Pascal Garnier par lui même” sur le site de la maison d’édition Zulma. C’est magnifique d’apprendre qu’un auteur de sa réputation qui a quitté l’école à 15 ans n’osait pas écrire parce que son orthographe et grammaire étaient loin d’être parfaites. Le travail derrière ses romans est collossal et sa détermination un super encouragement pour tous ceux qui doutent d’eux mêmes et de leurs rêves.

 

It was a strange feeling to read Claudie Gallay’s biography and to re-live my very first real hike in the mountains. From my native Normandy the mountains were not exactly close. But my mother really wanted to visit Lourdes, in the Pyrénées. So we went and camped there. My parents made friends with their neighbors who had kids slightly older than me and my sister. While the parents shared an apéritif every evening before dinner the kids told us about hiking and skiing, activities foreign to us. In the end, the family offered to take me and my sister on a hike. We had no equipment and had never lived in altitude. But they insisted that it would be relatively easy. This “relatively” easy hike was much harder than I expected. My feet were hurting. I discovered that I was afraid of heights. But the scenery took my breath away and I absolutely loved the feeling of achievement. This hike changed my summer and years later I would realize that it had planted the seeds for more hiking in my future. This family who invited me was from Isère and lived in Bourgoin-Jallieu, where Claudie Gallay, the author for the letter of the day was born.

And her best seller “Les Déferlantes” is set in La Hague, near Cherbourg in Normandy, my homeland.

I really have to read Claudie Gallay.

 

C’est drôle de lire la biographie d’une auteure dont je n’avais jamais entendu parler et de revivre ma première randonnée en montagne. De notre Normandie natale la montagne n’était pas la porte à côté, donc nous n’étions allés qu’une seule fois dans les Alpes rendre visite à l’un de mes oncles, frère de ma maman. Lorsque j’avais 15 ans ma mère a suggeré les Pyrénées. Elle voulait surtout aller à Lourdes. Au camping du village mes parents ont sympathisé avec leurs voisins qui avaient des enfants un plus âgés que ma soeur et moi. D’apéro en apéro il a été décidé de nous emmener en randonnée. Nous n’avions aucun équipement et j’ai eu super mal aux pieds, j’ai eu aussi peur en altitude, mais cette première fois m’a marquée et j’ai eu envie de recommencer. Cette famille qui m’a proposé ma première ballade en montagne venait de l’Isère, de Bourgoin-Jallieu, très précisement, là est née Claudie Gallay, l’auteure d’aujourd’hui pour le challenge de A à Z.
Et “Les Déferlantes,” son cinquième roman, un best seller couronné par de nombreux prix, adapté pour la télévision, se situe à la Hague, en Normandie, ma région natale.

Je crois que je n’ai vraiment aucune excuse pour ne pas lire Claudie Gallay.

 

Extrait de “Seule à Venise:”

“L’amour est la chose la plus brutale qui soit. Tellement soudaine. Il faudrait pouvoir s’en protéger n’est-ce-pas?”

Extrait de “L’amour est une île:”

“Vieillir ce n’est rien quand on se souvient. C’est l’oubli qui fait la souffrance.”

Extraits de “Les Déferlantes:”

“Qu’est-ce qui fait que l’on s’éprend, comme ça, au premier regard, sans jamais s’être vus avant? Il y a des rencontres qui se font et d’autres, toutes les autres qui nous échappent, nous sommes tellement inattentifs… Parfois nous croisons quelqu’un, il suffit de quelques mots échangés, et nous savons que nous avons à vivre quelque chose d’essentiel ensemble. Mais il suffit d’un rien pour que ces choses là ne se passent pas et que chacun poursuive sa route de son côté.”

“A deux, l’espace change. Le silence n’est plus du silence même si l’autre se tait.”

“J’ai serré les poings. Comprendre quoi? Qu’un jour on se réveille et qu’on ne pleure plus? Combien de nuits j’ai passées, les dents dans l’oreiller, je voulais retrouver les larmes, la douleur, je voulais continuer à geindre. Je préférais ça. J’ai eu envie de mourir, après, quand la douleur m’a envahi le corps, j’étais devenue un manque, un amas de nuits blanches, voilà ce que j’étais, un estomac qui se vomit, j’ai cru en crever, mais quand la douleur s’est estompée, j’ai connu autre chose. Et c’était pas mieux.

C’était le vide.”

 

At The Last Bookstore In Los Angeles

 

 

See you tomorrow with letter H!

A demain pour la lettre H!

Thank you for reading!

Merci de nous lire!

Good luck if you participate to the A to Z Challenge!

Bonne chance si vous participez au Challenge de A à Z!

 

 

Comments

  1. Everyday I am presenting a restaurant (or two) Evelyne and I recently visited.

    Gertrude’s (Baltimore. Md): Located inside the beautiful Baltimore Museum of Art, we did enjoy some Chesapeake cuisine prepared by celebrity chef John Shields.

    Restaurant at the Getty Center (Los Angeles): another sumptuous setting, the Getty.
    Fresh and regional cuisine with produce from local growers and the Santa Monica Farmers market.

    What a mix in both places: wonderful art and delicious food!

    — Evelyne’s husband.

  2. sur cette photo, Evelyne, tu es toute une histoire !

    • Cette librairie est super, dans le downtown de Los Angeles, comme beaucoup de ‘centre ville’ aux US c’est pauvre et franchement dur parfois de voir les sans abris et les malades mentaux si près de toute la richesse de LA. Mais la libraire reste un endroit magique, avec livres neufs et d’occasion mais en super état et des petites boutiques d’art au dernier étage. Tu aimerais je pense.

  3. So many books to read! I keep reading, but I never finish. I’ve got a “to be read” list as long as my arm and it just gets longer. There are at least two more on this list. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Marilyn for stopping over. I must apologize for my random visits. This challenge is a real dive into my native land. A discovery of fairly new authors and re-discovery of old favorites. Quite an emotional journey and also a real task as I decided to write in both French and English. I agree with your statement about books. My nightmare would be to be blind and to have to learn Braille because I truly believe that as long as I will be able to see, books will carry me to the end. Again, thank you for your kind hello.

  4. I like the way Garnier wrote and wrote and wrote until he had something publishable, Evelyne. It seems like the only way. 🙂 –Curt

  5. Yeah, I loved his hard journey and that he found an answer to his life through writing. He died way too soon, though. But he left great stories behind. Thank you for yoru support, Curt.

  6. I am so impressed that your husband is encouraging you in this year’s a to z challenge. You are such a hiker – it was interesting to hear about your first hiking trip. I visited Lourdes when I was 19. I think I took a train there – I don’t remember hiking.
    I admire Garnier’s persistence. I’d like to read his books.

    • He’s cool, right? I was the one who suggested the deal restaurants/book shops when we travel. But he came up with the idea for the challenge. You might find ideas for you;)
      I love to find stories behind these authors. Your challenge is excellent by the way!

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