It is a love story, but the story of a love that has vanished; a lost love. Writers always write the same book, the same story. Aurélie Filippetti’s first novel - a book that explored her family origins against the backdrop of the mining world till the closure of the last pit at Audun-le Tiche - was a success with the critics and the public alike. To follow from Les derniers jours de la classe ouvrière, with the intimate love story of Un homme dans la poche may thus appear a step away from her initial approach and as such, a risky venture. But it is the opposite: risky indeed - but all true writers take risks - yet not necessarily foreign to her original field. In effect, there seems to be no subject more topical to the working class reality than that of adulterous love. He is married and she is not. He has two children, and she brings up her little girl alone. They fall in love. Aurélie Filippetti shows, like no-one else did before, how love and class are tied together. The only moment where the lovers are equal, one and the same person, is, precisely, when they are naked, making love. Otherwise, the inequality reappears – a domination born less of gender than of class difference. For him, birth is what matters, more than education or habits. She, on the other hand, remains in the grip of a shame that would only vanish if her lover abandoned a comfortable life to take her away. But he will not give up this existence; will not take her away; and so his lover, the story teller, finally chooses to keep this man in her pocket as it were, so as not to forget him completely.
Beautifully crafted, raw and intense, Aurélie Filippetti’s novel is deeply affecting: few writers have managed to say, in one book, the truth of human bodies caught in the web of the class system.
The daughter of miners from the Lorraine, Aurélie Filippetti studied at the famous École normale. She has been elected councilor in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, and heads the Festival international du documentaire of Marseille. Her first novel, Les derniers jours de la classe ouvrière, was met with great critical acclaim.