La Compagnie des femmes
Under option in: Croatia, Japan, Turkey
THE COMPANY OF WOMEN
As their successive works are published, some writers willingly give reveal their own lives through their books; they readily tell their story, show us their world, their times, in an attempt to understand them better, but first and foremost to understand themselves. Since his first book, Les Jours en couleurs, published forty years ago, Yves Simon has consistently followed his own trail: he has told us about his youth, his lost illusions, his sorrows, his loves… but until now he has never devoted a novel in its entirety, as its title indicates, to the company of women.
This novel may appear to be as much autobiography in disguise as travelogue, but the true value of Yves Simon’s new book is the very unusual love story that brings it to life, carries it and transcends it. “Léonie was young and there I was growing old,” writes the narrator before retracing the paths of some of the women who haunt him, from his mother to the most ephemeral acquaintances. But the beauty of the decisive love he feels for Léonie carries both the reader and the narrator along with it. The reader longs to be a stowaway on that journey, in this road novel whose final destination the writer alone knows.
For his first book published by Stock, Yves Simon gives us what is probably his most personal or even most moving novel. Here is an author who knows how to talk about women in a quite unique way, who knows how to listen to them and watch them, who also knows and this is rarer still how to grow old without suffering. Quite the opposite: he grows old with the grace of someone who will never shy away from living and loving.
Yves Simon is a composer and musical performer as well as a writer. He has written twelve novels, including Le Voyageur magnifique (Prix des Libraires 1988), and La Dérive des sentiments (which won the Medicis prize in 1991); his other publications include collections of poetry, short stories and essays.