Special Envoy to Brive
We lost the Femina prize. At the Brive-la-Gaillarde train station, where some railway workers organized a welcoming committee for authors and publishers who barely digested their duck foie gras and snout salad, Sylvain Prudhommes rushed into the wrong bus, heading Larche about ten kilometers from his rendezvous point. An excess of old Souillac plum? Not even a drop of digestive was served in the train of the book, renamed Orsenna or Assouline (they are fighting for paternity), "the train of cholesterol". Traditions are lost. The author of By the roadsPraise of freedom, also crowned with the Prix Landerneau, followed a journalist who was a little too sure of himself. However, he was told to be wary of the press.
Leaving Paris at 8 am, everything started on pretty bad rails. Two cars are missing. We must reduce the space dedicated to kitchens. Las, some festival-goers, a small thirty unlucky, remained at the dock. Redirected to the 10:30 train. And dry diet. François David, the commissioner of the fair of Brive, tries to positiver. Crowded, the convoy is at least committed in the right direction. Last year, after an hour of travel, the driver realized he was heading for Lille and not for Brive. And we swear he did not drink gnole.
"That's good, those who are in the second train will arrive almost on time to go to Cardi", lance, a little coward, an author. For the uninitiated, the Cardinal is the box where all literary Paris is found. "We also have to go on Friday night, this is where the big party takes place. Everyone decompresses », says a regular. Before adding: "When Christine Angot packed Doc Gynéco, it was a Friday. On Saturday, everyone is already exhausted, it's less funny. " An author whose propriety will want his name to be quiet remembers that horrible night when, completely drunk, he vomited on the shoes of his brand new press officer. "After living this with her, I thought we were intimate for life". Verification done: she always takes care of him.
President of this 38th edition, Éric Fottorino goes around cars and spans a few authors on the ground. He looks happy as a bridegroom greeting all the tables. But by the way, what time is it? 10:25 and the travelers have still not been served. We are close to hypoglycemia. A blow-drying contest begins at the end of the rowing: Valérie Trierweiler, who came without her companion, tells the latest gossip from Paris to Gaël Tchakaloff. Nelson Monfort and Jacques Pradel watch for the waiters. Always nothing.
What are we talking about in the book train? From … TV series! Our neighbor does not have enough words to say the pleasure he has taken in watching pose , Netflix's production on the emergence in New York, in the 80s, of the LGBT community. 10:44, a sigh of comfort through the car. Young waitresses arrive with packed baskets. Foie gras, bite with ceps just cooked with duck fat. Salad with nuts and Rocamadour. Chocolate fondant and chestnut mousse. A traveler calls for a vegetarian lunch. All eyes are on her. Being vegan in the book train is like keeping your jersey on a nudist beach.
It takes about thirty minutes for the sound volume to rise under the effect of Sancerre. A novelist remembers this day when arriving at her stand, she perceives from afar, a long queue. "I said to myself then: '' You put the time my daughter but that's it, we finally recognize your talent ''", she recalls. Moved, she approaches a little shaky from her place. But suddenly sees that it is installed right next to the actress Laetitia Milot. "She was signing When is a baby?, his book on endometriosis. Moms tended their own children to take them in her arms. It was pretty troubling, she recalls.
Sylvain Prudhommes has found his hotel. Everything is in order. While many visitors can not attend the meeting, literally stormed, with Eric Fottorino, the authors begin to sign their books. Not everyone is at their posts. Many readers are watching. They are waiting for the arrival of Sylvain Tesson. They are told that Renaudot will only be here tomorrow, Saturday. In the contest queues, the always headed Amelie Nothomb beats a few heads Aurelie Valognes, author of The icing on the cake, and the host Patrick Sebastien who plays at home. It's a bit more difficult for former rugby international Denis Charvet. At the other end of the huge tent, on the Plon-Perrin stand, Christiane Taubira signs next to Valérie Benaïm. It is only in Brive that we see that. "It's very curious the infatuation with the former minister, we are not on a land of left here", remarks a reader smiling. His wife agrees: "Only in Brive can we see that."
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