What is the working title of the book?
La mer et l'enfant, "the sea and the
Where did the idea come from for the book?
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
What genre does your book fall under?
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?
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
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?
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.