Maylis de Kerangal and Le Havre: a home port

THESE WRITERS WHO LOVE FRANCE (6/6) – She was born in Toulon but the city where she lived until she was 18 and where she keeps coming back, as if on a pilgrimage, is Le Havre.

Normandy, Massif Central, Corsica… There are those who have not left their region, and those who have returned. Six writers open the door of their home to us, and tell us what their romantic imagination owes to their roots.

At the origin of a novel, says Maylis de Kerangal, there is a place, and from this place characters emerge. Because places shape bodies, desires, the imagination. And her, then, of what soil, what light, what climate is she made of? By which landscapes the author of Corniche Kennedy , Birth of a bridge, Repair the living was she fed?

Born in Toulon in 1967, the stronghold of her maternal family, she spent her summers in the Dordogne, where her paternal family had settled. But when asked where she is from, she replies: “Du Havre“. She specifies: she is not from Le Havre, she is coming from there. At 18, she left, by the only railway line serving the port city, at the end of which the lights of Paris twinkled.

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