23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Delphine de Vigan
© Hartwig Klappert

Delphine de Vigan

Delphine de Vigan was born in Paris in 1966. After studies at the CELSA Institute at the Paris Sorbonne University, she directed studies for an opinion research firm while writing first literary texts on the side.

Vigan made her debut in 2001, under the pseudonym Lou Delvig, with the novel »Jours sans faim« (tr: Days without hunger), an autobiographically inspired story about a young woman’s struggle with anorexia. She subsequently published other works under her real name. Appearing in 2005, »Les jolis garçons« (tr: The pretty boys) is a collection of texts about the three most important, but very different men in the life of fanciful Emma, broaching the question of whether love and fiction can be distinguished from one another. That very same year, the novel »Un soir de décembre« (tr: One Night in December) was published, which also deals with amorous disillusionment and won de Vigan the Saint Valentin literature prize. She achieved her final breakthrough in 2007 with the novel »No et moi« (Eng. »No and Me«, 2010), whose success led de Vigan to dedicate herself entirely to writing. For her description of a homeless person’s life as seen through the eyes of an intellectually gifted thirteen-year-old girl she not only received the Prix des Libraires and the Prix Rotary International in 2008, but also saw the novel translated into 11 languages and made into a film. The daily newspaper »Le Figaro« saw de Vigan as having succeeded in addressing adults and young people alike, which could have to do with the author having drawn on her own experience as a sociologist, or with her artful introduction of another young person’s stream of consciousness, thus avoiding »the danger of writing a sob story« (Deutschlandradio Kultur). In fact, the novel is »moving, touching, poetic, captivating« and develops a »quiet force« as one reads it (Buchkultur). In the story »Les Heures souterraines« (2009; am. »Underground Time«, 2011) she uses simple language to describe two figures on a trajectory toward each other, made vulnerable by acts of mobbing and the resulting burnout typical of today’s work environment. Her 2011 novel »Rien ne s’oppose à la nuit« (am. »Nothing holds back the Night«, 2014) is a hard-hitting portrait of a woman unable to cope with life, and an act of personal liberation for de Vigan, who in a »profoundly bleak book of exceptional beauty« (Cicero) also examines » her own reasons for writing« (»Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung«). Most recently the writer published the novel »D’après une histoire vraie« (2015; tr: Based on a True Story), winning both the Prix Renaudot and Prix Goncourt des Lycèens.

Delphine de Vigan lives in Paris.


Jours sans faim

[Unter dem Pseudonym Lou Delvig]


Paris, 2001

No & ich


München, 2008

[Ü: Doris Heinemann]

Ich hatte vergessen, dass ich verwundbar bin


München, 2010

[Ü: Doris Heinemann]

Das Lächeln meiner Mutter


München, 2013

[Ü: Doris Heinemann]