presque dire

The Next Big Thing

Bienvenue / Welcome
PROSES ET POÈMES / Prose & Poetry
Lectures marquantes / Noteworthy readings
Avec vous ce jour-là / Lettre au poète Allen Ginsberg (éd. papier)
Kvar lo
Tu amarres les vagues
La sirène à la poubelle
Avec vous de jour-là / Lettre au poète Allen Ginsberg (éd. numérique)
Tel Aviv / ville infirme / corps infini
Ville infirme, corps infini
Les colibris à reculons
En taxi dans Jérusalem
La mer et l'enfant
La migration des papillons
pas d'ici, pas d'ailleurs
ATELIERS d'écri(lec)ture / Creative Writ/Read-ing Workshops
Poèmes aimés / Loved poems
Paris-based American poet born in Puerto Rico, Pansy Maurer-Alvarez has tagged me to take part in The Next Big Thing, a series of self-interviews with writers.
How does it work? Well, like a blog hop I guess, and that's fun. From what I've heard, The Next Big thing originates from the writing community She Writes.
Each person tagged answers a series of interview questions (the same for everyone, about their next book or a book in progress) and posts them on his/her blog or website while also linking to five other writers, plus the writer who tagged them. Those writers then answer the questions, post and include links to five other writers and the one who tagged them, and so on and so forth. We all get a chance to tell about what we're working on.
I am very excited about this, since it happens to be the first interview in English about my novel.

What is the working title of the book?
La mer et l'enfant, "the sea and the child."
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had written another novel before this one, and I had an agent at the time, who helped me find a very good publisher. I am so grateful to her for this, and for what she's taught me. She was lovely, very caring, and enjoyed acting like a cheerleader. She kept telling me I had lots of novels in me. When I was first introduced to her by our common friend the American writer Robert Littell --who had been represented by that same agent in the past--, I only wrote poetry and short stories, which she loved, but her instinct told her there was more to my writing, and it looks like she was right. After I wrote the first novel (not yet published, although the manuscript is safely stored in my French publisher's manuscripts cabinet), I thought that maybe I could try and write about what I had always really wanted to write, and which I had not dared tackle yet. I was always beating around that intriguing --not to say distressing-- bush though.    
What genre does your book fall under?
Novel. It's a diary novel, or novel written in the form of a personal diary: a fictional diary which can also be seen as a fictional letter, or simply a fictional monologue. 
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
That's just the strangest question. I have to pass, it's not really my cup of tea.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Alright, here's one single sentence, but rather Proustian, considering its length: Magda and Estelle are mother and daughter but are totally unknown to one another, since Magda disappeared from Estelle's life when the child was but one year old, however, she reappears thirty years later, within her personal diary, in which she adresses her daughter and tells her about her past, her relationship with her own parents --an abusive mother and a father whose mother was killed during the Holocaust--, her rejection of motherhood, the psychiatric ward, and finally their last summer spent together, in the town of Saint-Clair, where everything capsized.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About a year.
What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
I don't know, I don't think I had any novel tackling the same themes in mind when I wrote mine.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I have always been puzzled by, and I guess also obsessed with, and very much distressed about... these two themes: dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, and madness. I won't lie and say that my relationship with my own mother was a good one. I think I mostly write about what I don't understand, maybe to try and understand it a little bit better, although it doesn't really happen, thankfully, and that's why I keep on writing.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
From what I've been told, my novel is quite disturbing and gripping. I guess it is so because the reader is served the thoughts of a mentally deranged woman, and doesn't know until the end of the book what she has done to ber baby. 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
None of the above, it is being released by the French publishing house Galaade Editions at the beginning of May this year (2013), and I'm hoping it will be translated into English, and Hebrew too, since I live in Tel Aviv, and... into any other language, in fact, since I'm a literary translator too, so seeing this book in translation is very important to me. By the way Magda, the main character of the book, is a literary translator.

Tagged myself by Pansy Maurer-Alvarez, who tells us so cleverly about her new poetry book, In A Form of Suspension, I am tagging the five following writers for next week:
Dara Barnat
Joanna Chen
Canan Marasligil
Mike Stone
Sarah Wetzel

Visit their blog to find out about the Next Big Thing of these lovely and talented fiction writers, poets, and translators.

Je suis condamnée à écrire pour presque dire.
I am doomed to write and never quite say it.

Copyright © Sabine Huynh 2011-2016
Sauf indication contraitre, textes et photographies © Sabine Huynh