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echoes of the books gleaned by Anne-Marie Revol

A new issue of Marque-Page: the writer hiding behind his four photos this week is the worthy heir of Alexandre Dumas! Lucile Hajman, bookseller in Paris, was very impressed by reading Walid Hajar Rachedi’s first novel, What would I do in paradise?, published by Emmanuelle Collas. As for Instagrammers, they acclaim The more the merrier, the more we love each otherthe latest gourmet novel by Jacky Durand (Stock).

How about a little quiz?

The author who hides this week behind his four photos has received the 2013 Goncourt Prize. However, his first 22 books are all… refused by publishers – what a lack of discernment! The son of employees, he grew up in the suburbs of Paris surrounded by dozens of Paperbacks which he devours without distinction of styles or authors. Its other big pole of attraction is the emission At the theater in the evening, which makes him want to become an actor. Little focused on studies, he left school at 16 to sort packages at The post office meanwhile more attractive. Student at Course Simonhe backed away from the obstacle when he entered the Paris Conservatory competition – “Legitimacy complex!”, he says. After his military service, he studied psychology and became a trainer of librarians. Neat work, his first book, was published late, in 2006. Immediately recognized by his peers, he received the Cognac Prize for the first novel. A dozen books will follow, before knowing the consecration with an immense historical fresco whose first opus will be adapted to the cinema and multi-caesarized. Today translated into forty-two languages, each of his writings tops the sales charts. His last tetralogy, released in January, takes root in Beirut but takes us on a journey between Paris and Saigon at the dawn of the Trente Glorieuses. I stop here. I have said too much!

The bookseller takes us to paradise…

Lucile Hajman, bookseller at Lecailler, in Paris, recommends us, What would I do in paradise? by Walid Hajar Rachedi, published by Emmanuelle Collas. Malek, is a “young boy of 17, who lives his faith as best he can, in Stains, between little thugs and success in the baccalaureate.” When he leaves for Lille to visit his cousin who has just arrived from Algeria, he meets Atiq, a young Afghan in exile. The latter is looking for his twin brother Wassim, whom he wants to prevent from doing justice himself against the Americans. This meeting encourages Malek to see the world with his own eyes, to no longer rely on reported speeches. On the way to Africa, he meets, in Tarifa, Kathleen, “a young Englishwoman also left in the footsteps of her father, a former humanitarian who disappeared after a last mission in Afghanistan.” Paris, Kabul, Granada, London, Algiers, Cairo. It’s the same story that Malek tells himself and hears himself tell, that of a nostalgia, of a fantasized elsewhere that no longer exists or perhaps never existed. A moving, haunting and humorous novel. An existential, identity and mystical quest, gripping and traveling. “We will have to wait for the very last lines, to have the epilogue of this tragic story.” Although it was not consecrated, What would I do in paradise? was shortlisted for the Goncourt Prize for First Novel. A nice and big sign of quality!

The new Jacky Durand, bookstagrammers favorite

Instagrammers love “story(ies) with a big heart”says @margueritecourtieu… The more the merrier, the more we love each other, published by Stock is, without a doubt, one! After Henri and Julien, the two heroes of “Recipes of Life”Jacky Durand, food columnist at Freed and French Culture, features Roger, the former jailer and Joseph, the downgraded Parisian bourgeois. Childhood friends, these two break a seed on a motorway service area when a sedan drops a wicker basket containing a… baby before their eyes. What if they kept it to themselves? “We follow the adventures of these atypical characters who will forge links in the face of the same objectives”, explains @lalibrairiedunkerque. Especially when a shadow from Roger’s past lurks around their house. “There emerges from this book a climate of sweetness and simple happiness, like the first flowers or the song of the first birds after the cold of winter…”, underlines, @sand.and.that’s.all. To read urgently to regain faith in life!

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