23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Marion Achard

Portrait Marion Achard
© Rottkay

Marion Achard was born in 1976 in Dijon, France. After training as a circus performer at the renowned Académie Fratellini and the Center National des Arts du Cirque, she founded the Compagnie Tour de Cirque with her partner Farid Abed. The troupe performs its self-produced shows in theaters, schools, but also in refugee camps and orphanages in France and around the world. The material for her stories has been gathered from the experiences that Achard has gathered during her tours of Africa, South America, and India, which often last for several months.

Achard was awarded the Prix du Jeune Écrivain by the French daily newspaper »Le Monde« for her texts »Ma java sans joie« (1993; tr: My Java Without Joy) and »Ankou« (1994). Her first young adult novel »Je veut un chat et des parents normaux« (tr: I Want a Cat and Normal Parents) was published in 2012 and kicked off the start of a trilogy about Taloula, a young, witty girl who confides in her diary what it is like to be the child of eccentric circus parents, often on the go, looking for friendships, all with the overwhelming desire for a cat. Achard’s other books also deal with the experience of children who are faced with special situations and do so in an often very charming, but headstrong way. She has written stories about a member of the opposition’s son who has to pretend to be a girl for his own protection (»Pourquoi je suis devenu une fille«, 2013; tr: Why I had to Become a Girl), about a child who is learning to cope with his diabetes and self-acceptance (»Des petits trous au bout des doigts«, 2014; tr: Small Holes at the Fingertips), and about an African boy who talks about his troubling experiences as a child soldier (»Tamba lʼenfant soldat«, 2018; Eng. TAMBA, Child Soldier, 2019), which was presented in the form of a graphic novel. Critics praised the sober and simultaneously sensitive way in which Achard’s narrative approaches such sensitive and complex topics. She was honored with the German-French youth literature prize for her novel »Le peuple du chemin« (2017; tr: At the End of the Rainforest) about the everyday life of a young girl, her family, and her home that is being threatened by the destruction of the rainforest.

Achard has received numerous other awards for her work, including the Prix Littérature Jeunesse (Rabat, 2018), the Prix des jeunes lecteurs (Nanterre, 2015), and the Prix Marguerite Audoux (2013). The author lives and works in the Drôme region of France.