“At his retirement, my father Raoul Salvaing (1925-1987) took up various school notebooks in which he told the story of his parents and his professional life as well as his ideas on democracy, house wives, trade unions, immigrants, God or the administration. Most of these texts renounce themselves. I have nonetheless taken from these texts an élan of which were born, almost like twins, two books. A novel, published recently, entitled Casa and this story where, retracing the steps of my family from the Belle Epoque to our times, from the remote creation of the public school in Larcat (Arège) to the recent closure of the coal mine in Gardanne (Bouches-du-Rhône), I at once clarify and fall into a vertigo. A vertigo before these at once banal and unique destinies. A vertigo before the interlacing of events and dreams, horrors and routines, inventions and ruins, in which they are caught and where they contribute to spin what is customarily called History.” François Salvaing
Many amongst us could find in this story the moves and the aspirations of their own family. The trajectory described by François Salvaing starting with his grand-parents from the Arège is in fact exemplary of the social ascension of a whole part of French society. But it goes beyond the official family story. It is a true enquiry which leads him to the places of his childhood. Raoul is a book written without nostalgia, but with the gaze and the emotion of the man and the writer François Salvaing is today.
François Salvaing was born in 1943 in Casablanca. He is the author of a dozen books amongst which Misayre! Misayre which was awarded the Prix du Livre Inter in 1988, Parti (Stock, 2000) and Casa (Stock, 2003).