Édouard Louis & Douglas Stuart
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On class change, the power of literature and the awareness of privilege
These two leading authors seem to have a lot in common. In writing about their mothers, both evoked a childhood, an environment they had to get out of before being able to cast a lucid but not unloving gaze on it. An exceptional meeting hosted by Annelies Beck.
This autumn, Shuggie Bain, the breathtaking first novel by Douglas Stuart, winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, will be published in French translation by Globe. At the same time, Édouard Louis’s latest novel, Combats et métamorphoses d’une femme, will be published in Dutch translation (Strijd en metamorfose van een vrouw, De Bezige Bij). The parallels between these two books were an occasion to bring the authors together for an in-depth interview.
Édouard Louis made his name in 2014 with En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (The End of Eddy). Since then, he has been one of the leading voices in literature but also in politics. His books (including Histoire de la violenceand Qui a tué mon père) examine the mechanisms of power that crush humans and the violence that ensues. A controversial figure, Édouard Louis continues to trace his own path with Combats et métamorphoses d’une femme, in which his mother finally plays the leading role.
After being rejected many times by publishers, Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart’s first novel, was awarded the Booker Prize in 2020. The story of Shuggie, a young Scottish boy with an alcoholic mother left to fend for himself in a working-class neighbourhood, is absolutely tragic. But Douglas Stuart manages to infuse it with the kind of beauty and infinite tenderness that only the very great authors can achieve.
With Annelies Beck
After a first online interview during the Passa Porta Festival, Douglas Stuart will come to Brussels to meet Édouard Louis at Flagey. An exceptional evening during which the authors will discuss their stories, their past and present, the power of literature and what writing makes possible when everything else gets bogged down.
Organisation : Passa Porta, Flagey