23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Romain Puértolas
© Hartwig Klappert

Romain Puértolas

Romain Puértolas was born in Montpellier in 1975. As well as his native France he has lived in Spain and England, working as a translator, magician and police inspector with the French border service. He maintains that he was already writing at the age of seven, when he penned poems and short stories before starting on a novel, the idea for which came from Gérard, the goldfish his mother gave him for his tenth birthday. Later he focused on a career as DJ and music producer until he discovered short films, a medium which offered him the opportunity to combine various genres.Puértolas wrote several novels which remained unpublished. Eventually, his novel »L’extraordinaire voyage du fakir qui était resté coincé dans une armoire Ikea« (2013; En. »The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakirwho got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe«, 2014) got published with the Parisian publishing house Le Dilettante and became his international breakthrough. It is translated into 35 languages and currently being turned into a major motion picture. The novel tells the story of a fakir who leaves his village in India in search of a bed of nails in Paris; after hiding out in a wardrobe in an Ikea store he travels all across Europe and on to Africa, bumping into numerous old acquaintances along the way. In 2013 the novel was nominated for such prestigious literary awards as the Prix Renaudot. While »Der Spiegel« described the novel as »wonderfully crafted literature for a mass audience«, which it offered as compliment rather than critique, Norddeutsche Rundfunk noted how Puértolas manages »to draw attention to the depressing situation of refugees from Africa in the course of this turbulent odyssey across Europe«. Romain Puértolas’ next novel will be out in France in early 2015.


Die unglaubliche Reise des Fakirs, der in einem Ikea-Schrank feststeckte

S. FischerFrankfurt a. M., 2014[Ü: Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel]