24.04.2010 - Philippe Claudel

Philippe Claudel (1962) kick-started his career writing film scenarios as a student in Nancy, before trying his hand at fiction. Ever since, his works have swelled the hearts of an ever-growing mob of enthusiasts. His international breakthrough novel was Les âmes grises (Grey Souls). A couple of years later he was also very successful as a director, with his debut film ‘Il y a longtemps que je t’aime’ (‘I’ve Loved You So Long’), featuring Kristin Scott Thomas in a leading role.

Claudel will visit our BorderKitchen because of the publication in Dutch of two of his books: Quelques-uns des cent regrets [Everything I’m Sorry For] and Au Revoir Monsieur Friant [Goodbye Mister Friant]. In the former, the narrator returns to the scene of his childhood in a small northern town in France after the death of his mother. During the three days he spends there, he is plunged back into his childhood, raising questions and filling in the gaps that have remained since youth. Why did he turn his back on her at the age of sixteen? In Au Revoir Monsieur Friant it is Claudel himself who tenderly looks back on a long gone period, using the paintings of Emile Friant to reflect on the world of his grandmother.