The 2017 Literary Season at Stock
Anne & Claire Berest: "Gabriële" – Novel
Montmartre, 1908. Gabriële Buffet – a musician and a free-spirited woman – meets Francis Picabia, a successful painter with a scandalous reputation. He needed his art to head in a new direction, she is prepared to break with convention. She soon becomes the “woman with the erotic brain” who has men on their knees, including Marcel Duchamp and Guillaume Apollinaire. This book takes us to the beginning of the Twentieth Century when the codes of beauty and society were reinvented.
Collaborating intimately, Anne and Claire Berest tell the story of their great-grandmother, Gabriële Picabia, the surrealists’ muse.
Camille Laurens: "La petite danseuse de quatorze ans" / "Degas’s Little Ballerina" – Narrative
Degas’s “Little Ballerina” has always been a presence for Camille Laurens. Here the novelist tells the story of the sculpture which has been exhibited in Paris, London, New York, Washington, Chicago, Copenhage, Dresden… but few know the identity of the model. Camille Laurens looks into the childhood of Marie Van Goethem and questions dancing and prostitution, revolution and the art world. This enquiry ultimately leads her to a more personal quest…
Camille Laurens is a novelist, essayist and academic. Her latest novel "Who You Think I Am" sold 50,000 copies in France.
Erik Orsenna: “La Fontaine: Wandering with the author of the French fables” – Essay
La Fontaine viewed his fellow human beings with an amused perceptive eye. But do we really know the details of this life full of paradoxes? What emerges from this journey is a portrait of La Fontaine as a free – even rebellious – man, a loyal friend, a bad husband, collecting money problems and political quarrels, a lover of life and of women. A nonchalant man who masked an arduous work ethic (he wrote 240 fables and 60 stories).
Erik Orsenna won the Goncourt prize for “L’Exposition coloniale”. His other books include "La grammaire est une chanson douce" translated into 12 languages.
Jean-Louis Fournier: “Mon autopsie” / ”My Autopsy” – Novel
Jean-Louis Fournier is playing dead on an autopsy table. He’s going to let us see what’s going on inside his head, his heart and his stomach. Why the decision to describe his autopsy? Even among the dead, he’s not keen to be like everyone else. To spare us a litany of faded memories. To chuckle at his own human quirks. And most importantly to reconcile himself with his contradictory feelings.
Jean-Louis Fournier published a serie of personal works, including “Où on va papa ?” (prix Femina 2008) translated into 30 langages.
Simon Liberati: “Les rameaux noirs” / ”The Black Boughs” – Novel
André Liberati chose as his son’s godfather the poet Aragon, who wrote alongside Nerval, Breton, Capote and Eliot. The author describes wonderful days from his childhood, his father’s very unusual presence, the haunting silent face of a brother who died at the age of one, the internal fire he experiences when writing. What is creativity? What is the mysterious process of inspiration, in prose and poetry?
Simon Liberati is the author of five books, including “Jayne Mansfield 1967”, winner of the Prix Femina, and “Eva” which sold 30,000 copies in hardcover.
Jean-Luc Coatalem: “Mes pas vont ailleurs” / ”My Footsteps Lead Elsewhere” – Novel
1919. Victor Segalen is found lying dead in a small wood in Brittany. Starting with the mystery surrounding Segalen’s death – suicide? Accident? – Jean-Luc Coatalem traces the writer-traveller’s journeys. Soldier, sailor, poet, author of a labyrinthine body of work. In 1903, Segalen followed pilgrim-like in Gauguin’s footsteps on a trip to the Marquesas Islands. In 1905, it was Djibouti, emulating Rimbaud. In 1910, he ventured into the maze of Peking’s Forbidden City…
Jean-Luc Coatalem is a writer and co-editor-in-chief of Géo magazine. His notable books to date include “Je suis dans les mers du Sud” on Paul Gauguin.
Antoine de Baecque : "Les talons rouges" / "The Red Heels" - Debut novel
June 1789, The Ancient World is crumbling. The Villemorts are descended from a long line of aristocrats, a family held together by the age-old legend of their pure blood, and blood is precisely what they crave... because the Villemorts, the “red heels”, are vampires. Two of them, William and Louis, forsake the blood of their forefathers to devote themselves to an egalitarian community. How can they escape a curse that has travelled across centuries?
Historian Antoine de Baecque devoted a trilogy to the French revolution. "The Red Heels", his first novel, is the product of his passion for the French revolution and vampire films.
Saphia Azzeddine: "Sa mère" / "Her Mother" - Novel
Marie-Adélaïde, born with the surname X, has fire in her belly: she has a destiny, but doesn’t yet know what it is. Not working on the till at "The Golden Loaf". And not living like her few friends, met in prison or in an unsettled life of hard knocks. Could it be as nanny to the perfectly behaved children of "The Sublime One"? Or tracing her mother whatever the cost? She will find her destiny with the means at her disposal: nerve, a blunt way with words, biting humour and total rebellion against every convention. A heroine for our times.
Saphia Azzeddine was born in 1979. Her latest novel "Bilqiss" (Stock, 2015) was a critical and commercial success. She is also an actress, a screenwriter and a film director.
Olivia Elkaim: "Je suis Jeanne Hébuterne" / "I am Jeanne Hébuterne" - Novel
Jeanne Hébuterne was still in her teens when she met Amedeo Modigliani in 1916. The then struggling artist was fifteen years her senior. She wanted to escape her overbearing parents and become a painter herself. They fell passionately in love. From Paris to Nice – where they fled the action of the First World War – they defied tradition and family taboos. But their incandescent love drove them to the brink of madness. This is one of the most tragic love stories of the art world.
Olivia Elkaim was born in 1976. She is the author of several novels published by Grasset, and by Stock. She has been fascinated by Jeanne Hébuterne for more than thirty years.
Laurence Campa: "Colombe sous la lune" / "Colombe and The Moon" - Debut novel
Still barely more than a child, Thomas sets off to war. He’s running away from Colombe, the young woman he dreams about. But reality constantly comes back to him and, as day follows night, the darkness keeps gaining ground. In these pages, we see the mud in the trench that the soldiers have called Starfish, the shell holes, the unspoken tactics, but also the silence of waiting and the return to life.
Laurence Campa is a literary researcher: her most notable work is a biography of "Apollinaire" (Gallimard, 2013). "Colombe and The Moon" is her first novel.
Pauline Perrignon: "Demain sera tendre" / "Tomorrow Will Be Tender" - Debut novel
A daughter, a father. A tender yet stubborn man, who watches his family grow up and his hopes dashed. A man who believes in a France built on a generous left-wing model, with reforming trade-union-based policies and a modern utopic press, a man and his convictions slowly succumbing to melancholy. But he has a home with a wife and four daughters, and deep inside him he has a torch to pass on to the next generation.
Born in 1978, Pauline Perrignon rejected Paris for several years in favour of London, and returned without England’s stiff upper lip but with a taste for self-deprecation and tea. She works as an editor by day, and dances and plays music by night.
Éric Romand: "Mon père, ma père et Sheila" / "My Father, My Mother and Sheila" - Debut novel
The narrator describes his childhood during the 70s and 80s in a working-class family with its codes and taboos. Those close to him think he has strange tastes, and he has a way about him that enrages his father and breaks his mother’s heart. He draws pictures of dresses and gives his sister’s dolls fancy hairstyle. He does his best not to add to the tension. To escape, he watches glittering variety shows… and falls for a famous singer, smitten by her sequinned dresses and upbeat chorus. He wants to be her. He doesn’t want to be here.
Éric Romand came to writing through theatre. He cowrote "Comme à la maison", a play first performed in Paris in 2017.