Marie Darrieussecq  [ France ]


© Dolores Marat

Guest 2009.


München, 1997
[Ü: Frank Heibert]

Gespenster sehen
München, 1999
[Ü: Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel,
Frank Heibert]

Das Baby
München, 2004
[Ü: Frank Heibert]

Paris, 2006

Le Musée de la mer
Paris, 2009

Marie Darrieussecq was born in Bayonne in 1969. She studied Literature and other subjects at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, and in 1997 gained a doctorate in French Literature. She had already begun to write as a child, and while working on her doctorate, she published her first novel, »Truismes« (1996, English 1997: »Pig Tales«), which won her international respect from critics and readers alike. Following the sensational success of her début, Darrieussecq resigned from her teaching activities at Lille University and became a full-time writer.

Through an internal monologue »Pig Tales« describes the protagonist's bizarre transformation from a young woman into a pig. She reports her initial physical changes with imperturbable naivety - she grows teats and a curly tail – and develops a loathing for ham sandwiches. By the time her metamorphosis is complete, Paris is teetering on the brink of a political, social and moral abyss, and she flees into the forest. Critics saw in »Pig Tales« a political parable, a social satire, and a novel of female emancipation.

Darrieussecq's second novel »Naissance des fantômes« (1998, English 2001: My Phantom Husband) uses striking imagery to describe the personal experiences of a woman seeking her vanished husband. The loss of a family member and the emotions arising from this loss are also at the heart of the complexly structured novel »Bref séjour chez les vivants« (2001, English 2004: A Brief Stay With The Living), which is told through four intertwined stream of consciousness narratives. Shortly after the birth of her first child she published »Le bébé« (2002, tr: The Baby), a humorous examination of motherhood. Her seventh and most recent novel »Tom est mort« (2007, tr: Tom is Dead) is once again concerned with loss, and draws the reader into the desolate thoughts and feelings of a mother who has lost her son. Her first stage play, »Le Musée de la mer« (2008, tr: The Museum of the Sea), had its première in Reykjavik early in 2009. In 2008 Darrieussecq also published »Tristes Pontiques«, a new translation of Ovid.

Marie Darrieussecq is among the major French writers of her generation and has been honoured with numerous international awards. »Truismes« was hailed as the most successful début in French literature since the 1950s and has been published in over thirty countries. The author lives with her husband and two children in Paris.

Anja Franke