Posted yesterday at 9:00am
“kitten”. When I speak to the young cat I live with, I hear Anne Hébert pronounce these words with particular tenderness, I see her flattering her beautiful tabby, forbidding her to go out after having to ask the Paris firefighters to take her away the highest point to pick up a branch of a large plane tree.
It is a privilege to have shared a love of cats with this author, whom I adored, emulated when I decided to live in Paris, and who showed me such kindness whenever we met. By allowing me to approach her light, Anne Hébert inspired me with the determination necessary to write and try to make a living from my pen.
My first thriller came out 40 years ago. More than 60 novels later, I know that I could not have done it without all these women who guided, encouraged, fascinated and surprised me, without these creators who offered me their vision of the universe, who conjured up struggles like miracles and gave them voiced princesses as well as the damned of the earth, inventive expanses and mothers who lift up their heads write loneliness and mutual aid, the fragility of life, the dignity of the humble, the terror of the abused, the magic of a a class of children and all those passions that pierce us, electrify us, crush us and glorify us.
Kim Yaroshevskaya, by giving fanfreluche the power to change the course of stories, Fantasy taught me the importance of reading a story from all angles and the right to reinvention. The Portuguese bookseller of my childhood who suggested I discover Athena, Penelope, Zeus, Ulysses, Freya or Isis gave me the keys to the founding myths and Sister Thérèse, librarian at College Notre-Dame-de-Bellevue, fueled my enthusiasm for Zola and Maupassant, Colette, Hugo, Sand and Flaubert, authorizing me to borrow the books reserved for the “big ones”. The young academic I had briefly blessed at the Canadian Institute was there ladies room was waiting for me, very close to the golden book by Doris Lessing and the iconoclast Erica Jong, the essentials second genderthe enchanting Isabel Allende and Marie-Claire Blais.
Marie-Claire, who was the embodiment of empathy, kindness, generosity and a determination to make her way and listen to her voice. I would have seen the world the same way if I hadn’t read ThirstyIf I hadn’t trembled Small ash or the capture ?
And I could have invented Maud Graham if the great Patricia Highsmith hadn’t created so much inspiring uneasiness in her credible criminals, if Ruth Rendell hadn’t demonstrated the harmfulness of exclusion The illiterate ?
Would I have believed that a city could also become a character if I hadn’t followed Brunetti through the maze of Venice, if I hadn’t walked the Grande-Allée with Flora Fontanges, if I hadn’t met Fred Vargas’ atypical investigators in Paris spied on?
If I had understood the word sorority without the infinite tenderness of Louise Dupré, the word immigration without the open-mindedness of Abla Farhoud, who painted with such truthfulness the fragile and chaotic destinies?
What would I know about the uprooting, about the terrible meaning of a totalitarian regime without Agota Kristof? Without the rage of Virginie Despentes, the screams of alarm from Martine Delvaux, or the clarity of Annie Ernaux, would I have known how to nurture a healthy rage in my novels? Could I measure all progress toward emancipation without the ingenuity of Louise Desjardins? And the richness of the Innu fantasy without Josephine Bacon? Would I have viewed the women who shaped Quebec’s history with the same interest if it weren’t for Micheline Lachance and her Julie Papineau?
Would I ask myself with renewed serenity what I will be and do in a few years without Michèle Plomer’s daring Monique? Without Laure Adler’s essay on old age? Would I have legitimate concern for our national wealth if I hadn’t seen that i love hydro ?
And would I be convinced that no subject is taboo without Janette Bertrand’s extraordinary will to escape from darkness and harmful secrets by denouncing the guilty silence of a certain society?
I owe everything to those writers who knew how to tell so many truths, who believed that poetry changes the world, who explored the intricacies of the human soul, both in Saint-Henri and in those far-off lands where scarlet servants live , which are cruelly relevant today , which warn us not to slacken our vigilance…
My gratitude goes forever to these women who never fail to express the immense power of words.
And I smile to the future when I think that today’s little girls are filled with Claudia Larochelle’s doudou fans d’Élise Gravel will not see her future limited by pink or blue codes; They will write boldly, sow magic and give fairness and justice their place, making us dream of a new society. I hope to be there to read them…