Nicolas Mathieu has made his weapons at the school of the noir novel, such as Daniel Pennac, Tonino Benacquista, Daniel Picouly, or Pierre Lemaître before him. At 40 years old, this son of electromechanical and accountant, who grew up in the residential suburb of Golbey in the Vosges, therefore, knows that a good book is first and foremost a good story. The one he tells in Their children after them , prix Goncourt 2018, takes place in France, in a valley in lorraine, devastated by the crisis, in the late years of Mitterrand. A heady time of globalization happy where it was most rewarding to look at Bosnia or California to the valley of Thionville. Yet it is here that were born Anthony, Hacine, Steph and Clém, of the children sad of the crisis that we see come out of adolescence in four summers.
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They are home to Heillange, gray town where the blast furnaces do not burn for a long time. They do canoeing, mountain BIKING, smoking, firecrackers, listen to Nirvana, dragouillent and baisouillent, without asking themselves what the future could be done.
there are sons of bourgeois and of the sons of proletarians, in the remarkable fresco social Nicolas Mathieu, boys dark that look black, and girls ‘ sheer who have white teeth. Lies, misfortunes, fraud, hard hearts, livers cirrhosés, punches that leave and broken faces. The hours are long and the happiness in short, France was ravaged by neoliberalism.
Nicolas Mathieu has long doubted to have made the right choice in embracing the career of a writer. Up to 35 years of age, he is said to have eaten the mad cow, living of odd jobs, until the publication of his first novel in 2014, the animals, war (Actes Sud). A novel which won several awards and brought him a start of recognition. Book that has been adapted in six episodes by Alain Tasma for France 3. A mini-series black around the closing of a factory, with Roschdy Zem and Olivia Bonamy in particular, which will be aired from 15 November.
By focusing on the margins of society, Nicolas Mathieu sees this as do-it-yourselfers of literature comforter do not see ; slipping into the intimacy of his characters, he has the gift to make them flesh and blood, it shows without a speech that the skin of the daughter of a business leader is softer and more comfortable than that of a son unemployed.
On the bottom of a social disaster, and change of manners, Their children after them is set by an impossible love story and a dream that Anthony, the main character, is the protagonist unhappy. The hero of the bildungsroman bitter, heady, and wild was fourteen years old at the beginning of the book, twenty at the end. After dreaming to see the country, as Hacine, his doppelganger, he finds his Lorraine dark and unhappy, tragic and torn. And the place assigned him ever since: that of a loser who today took a nice revenge.
Their children after them , Nicolas Mathieu, Actes Sud, 426 p., 21,80 €.
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