13 o’clock in the cozy lounges of the club Combined (with garden view), the jury for the Femina walks up to the cameras to announce his choice for 2016, through the voice of its president and Mona Ozouf. A choice marked this year by the audacity. The ladies have chosen “The boy”, Marcus Malta, published by editions Zulma. “This novel, a meteorite fell in the flat bands of the literary world,” says Mona Ozouf. “Before reading it, I didn’t know this author. I thought it was a first novel,” said the president, smiling. “The boy” tells the story of the life of a wild child at the beginning of the Twentieth century, a character without a voice and without a name. “It is a great nat uralistic novel, which recreates the myth of the wild child on the path of civilization,” defends Mona Ozouf.
Danielle Sallenave and Mona Ozouf announce the winners of the Fémina, October 25, 2016
© Medhi Weber
“It is also a novel about ‘going wild’ men by the war,which reminds us that the barbarity encamps on the borders of the civilized world,” says Mona Ozouf. “This is a novel very” current, ” said Danièle Sallenave. “It’s a voice very original, and when you fall in this novel, one cannot but be charmed,” enthused Mona Ozouf, stating that the discussions have been very fed but courteous, “It was a tough choice as it is an excellent start of the literary”, she says. The jury for the Femina was also pleased to be rewarded with this award and editions Zulma. For Mona Ozouf, “this is not a decisive criterion, but it is nice to top off a small independent publishing house at the same time, an author little known.”
Marcus Malta : “there are first sounds, a language, and then come the ideas”
Marcus Malta is there. Long hair, blue eyes, smile on her lips.We had noticed a few seconds before the official announcement, and crossing stealthily to the hallway with his publisher. “I am happy”, says he in one breath. It is necessary to approach him to type in words that he pronounces in a whisper. “I think that this might allow my book to reach a wider audience,”says Marcus Malta, the author of a dozen novels including “Garden Of Love” (Zulma 2007), dark novels, and albums for the youth or scenarios of BD. He says he has found the inspiration for this book in the music. “I would never start anything from an idea, but instead of music,” says the novelist. “First, there are the sounds, a language, and then come the ideas”.
Marcus Malta answers questions from the media, Fémina 2016
© LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP
Is the question whether this is not too complicated to write a book about a character who does not speak, the novelist replied that what interested him precisely, it was to explore other voices, the language. “My character at the beginning is closer to the animal kingdom, it is normal, therefore, that he does not speak. The animals do not speak. For the following I asked myself the question if I did have access to the language, but I finally made the choice to do express themselves differently,” says Marcus Malta.
“I’m not talking about me. This is a topic that has little chance of interest to readers”
“My book examines what it is to be a man, and this question applies as much today as it did a hundred years ago,” he says, voice still muted. “I’m not talking about me. This is a topic that is unlikely to be of interest to readers”, he smiles. “I prefer to live other lives through my characters. If there is a little bit of me in the boy ? He should ask the question to a shrink. What I can say is that this research in isolation, this one is deep,” he says. He cites Hugo, Zola, Verleine, Rimbaud, jean Giono, Cendrars. “Attention I do not compare to Victor Hugo, eh, the things are clear, but I tried to infuse a little of the breath of these great authors, naturalists and poets of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries”, he concludes.
on his side, Laure Leroy, the patron saint of editions Zulma, displays a wide smile. “It is a new wonderful”, a loose-t-her, cheeks rosy with happiness. “A new award that an author that I defended for over ten years, and which also rewards the work of an editor”. “This is a novel already very well supported by many independent bookstores. I hope that this award will reinforce this choice with readers”.
Rabih Alameddine Prix Fémina for the novel stranger with “The lives of paper” (Stops)
© Medhi Weber
The prix Femina novel overseas has been awarded to Rabih Alameddine for “The lives of paper” (Stopovers) and the Fémina of the test Ghislaine Dunant for “Charlotte Delbo, The new-found life” (Grasset). “We wanted to reward a test, but also pay tribute to Charlotte Delbo. It is the role of price as a tribute to personalities,” said Mona Ozouf about the essay on the writer and survivor of Auschwitz. And finally on the side of the novel stranger, “The lives of paper” (port calls), the ladies of Femina salutes a novel of a very great originality, “which is a tribute to the power of books. A novel about the place of books in society, the books that illuminate a world disrupted by war,” says Danièle Sallenave.