October 25, 2021, Clara Dupont-Monod receives the Fémina prize for her novel Adapt published by Stock editions. The book will also be crowned with the Landerneau prize for readers and the Goncourt prize for high school students. Adapt is an autobiographical and sensitive story that accurately tells how a family from the Cévennes, and in particular a sibling, adapts to the arrival of a disabled little brother.
“It’s a group of people, teenagers in particular, with a real sensitivity. They say hollowly (with this award), this difference that you wrote, Not only do we accept it, but we chose it somehow. part, we decide to like it. And that, for an author, is astounding”she reacted during the tour for the Goncourt high school students.
A few months after this harvest of prizes, Clara Dupont-Monod comments with serenity and humor on the success in bookstores, the intense encounters with readers and her long tour of the four corners of France. “You live in a TER, you know by heart the triangle sandwiches of the stations. You are unbeatable on the correspondences, Your children call you ‘Madame’ because they no longer see you. Your husband, you hope that he does not won’t leave with a young student of 19 and a half. And you, valiantly, you meet your readers. Afterwards, it happens once in a lifetime. And people, when they come in front of you, they are with their emotional baggage and they are not afraid to put it on your table and tell you this is what I experienced and it is extremely rewarding”says Clara Dupont-Monod.
“Each one puts in a text what there is of repercussion with his intimate story. It is extremely moving.”Clara Dupont Monod
A few months after receiving her three awards, the author says she is in love with her novel and does not think about the one after. “It’s a bit like in a romantic encounter, where you’re so into the flavor of what just happened. When you’re in love, you know if you’re being put on a super handsome guy, funny, smart, really impeccable, you don’t even see it because you have a heart full to the brim of someone. Well, it’s the same as a writer. Me, my heart full to the brim of this text- there, to adapt. I am very happy that it happened with this text. That was important. It also crowns a path of patience, of slowness”says Clara Dupont-Monod.
Recognition, the success of the book in bookstores, she is amused by what this has changed concretely: “I’m going to be able to patch up the family house in the Cévennes a bit, which is leaking and which is still very old. I would like to take a long family trip far away, like in Asia. The kind of trip that costs an eye”she jokes.
Success does not take away “the bottom of intranquility” of the writer, because “Writing a book is so difficult, it’s personal. It takes so much time and investment that on that side, I don’t think it changes much. You can only think about a paragraph for days and days. You can feel down because you can’t find the right word. So that, I don’t think will change and besides, I hope it won’t change”says Clara Dupont-Monod.
This novel has a stronger resonance with her personal story which she does not hide: “We had a disabled child in the family. He died, he was around ten years old. I have extremely happy memories of him. So, of course, it’s connected to a much more direct autobiographical experience than on the texts that I was able to do around the Middle Ages.”
“I wonder if it’s necessarily because it has been “lived” that it affects people? I don’t know.”Clara Dupont Monod
But she also wonders about the link between the autobiographical part of this novel and the way readers have received the novel. “This is where you say there was still a somewhat societal reality, all these siblings who had to deal with a different brother or sister, all these families that we never hear from, that we don’t never see, who row in the shadows, the same for all these health professionals, whom we hear and whom we never see and who are super enduring. And now a book talks about what they know : the difference, the care, the administrative hassle of which France has the secret, the non-inclusion. All of this, suddenly, a book will have brought to light. And so there, there is a sharing of experience, there there is an echo. And so, literature, it does the job”comments Clara Dupont-Monod.
A writer and editor, during vacations she carries a suitcase full of books, non-fiction authors, and other books for her enjoyment. Last summer, she rediscovered Therese Raquinnovel by Émile Zola published in 1867. A young first who deserves lots of literary prizes, she says, laughing.
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They made the news. Clara Dupont-Monod, fulfilled yet very busy writer