Mangeur de chagrin (Le Riffle), elle signe ici la suite de son premier récit, Fête des mères (Stock), paru en 2009...
When her mother leaves home, Florence watches powerlessly as the family unit collapses. With all her assumptions shattered, she has to try to reconstruct a daily life for three among the ruins, alongside a father stricken with sadness and a younger sister, Camille, too young to emerge unharmed. How can she ever grow into herself when her mother is absent and her father in denial? How can she cope with the growing terror of a little girl marked for life by the trauma of her mother’s abandonment? And how can she become a mother herself?
After Fête des mères, Florence Emptaz draws an unstinting but affectionate portrait of her father. Devastated by his wife’s departure, he becomes reclusive, bitter and sometimes violent, throwing himself body and soul into his work in an attempt to forget: forget the woman he still loves but who will never come back, and forget himself. As his wounds gradually heal, the bear becomes human. Generous, greedy, vividly alive, even attentive, he tries to adapt to his fate alone.
Without pathos but with infinite restraint and using limpid straightforward prose, the author tells the story and, with these sketches of them, tries to understand those close to her. Her striving for clarity and ultimate objectivity brings out every nuance, details every personality trait and avoids the pitfalls of oversimplification. And, as the account unfolds, it becomes clear that the act of writing is a healing process: bandaging wounds and filling silences.
Florence Emptaz has the prestigious “aggrégation” teaching qualification for literature. She has written an essay, Aux pieds de Flaubert (Grasset) and a novel, Le Mangeur de chagrin (Le Riffle), and this new book is a follow-up to her personal account, Fête des mères (Stock) which was published in 2009.