Patrick Autréaux (2020)
|Born||March 14, 1968|
Patrick Autréaux (born March 14, 1968) is a French writer who has held appointments as a writer-in-residence at Boston University (2018–2019)and a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018). After training in medicine and anthropology, he practiced as an emergency-room psychiatrist in Paris and started writing poetry and contemporary art reviews before publishing fiction.
An early experience with cancer led him to write three books on the topic of illness: Dans la vallée des larmes, Soigner et Se survivre. Dans la vallée des larmes relates the experience of a thirty-five year old doctor coming to terms with a lymphoma whose diagnosis had been suddenly announced.Soigner is about a patient in remission who resumes his previous role of doctor and cares for his dying grandfather. Se survivre consists of seven meditations on the state of illness.
Since these early writings, his work has developed in new directions: a hidden family drama that unravels during the expulsion of an undocumented person in France (Les Irréguliers), the agitation of a tree shaken by a storm as a metaphor for the loss of a loved one (Le grand vivant) and a narrative retracing Autréaux’s personal journey between medicine and literature (La Voix écrite).Les Irréguliers was born out of the experience the author had when seeking news of a detained undocumented friend. Le grand vivant labels itself a “standing poem” which brings to life the dying moments of a beloved grandfather, who until his last breath, had sheltered the presence of his deceased wife and was in the eyes of his grandson, a protective figure.” Le grand vivant was performed in 2015 the French Avignon theater festival. Lastly, La Voix écrite is an autobiographical tale on the long road to writing. This tale speak particularly of the relationship between the author and his former editor “Max” behind whom we decipher “the protective figure of J.-B. Pontalis”, psychoanalyst and editor at Gallimard.
In 2016, Autréaux published with the Diderot Institute a polemical take on the terrorist attack, “Je suis Charlie, un an après”, written for a round table at Harvard University and Boston University.
His first novel In the Valley of Tears has been translated into English by Eduardo Febles and published in 2019 at Unconscious in Translation Books.
He was nominated for the Prix Décembre and Prix Femina for his novel Quand la parole attend la nuit (Verdier, 2019).
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