Friday, April 22, 2016

(2015 Prix Renaudot Winner) "D'apres une histoire vraie" by Delphine de Vigan

Rating: 2 out of 3

My next review is of a book that met with a lot of commercial (and critical) success last year - Delphine De Vigan's "D'apres une histoire vraie."

The book is purportedly about de Vigan (a famous writer) writing about herself fretting about what to write next, after the success of her last, deeply autobiographical book. De Vigan seems pressured by all sides to write another true life story, however, she continually returns to the question of whether it is really so important to a reader for a story to have really happened. Can a reader connect just as deeply with a story that is not true? Or perhaps, only partially true?

This is of course, the central idea behind the book. However, the narrative itself is dominated by the relationship between de Vigan and a mysterious fan, whom de Vigan chooses only to name L. The woman mysteriously meets with de Vigan and they form a sort of clandestine friendship. Though the friendship starts out harmlessly enough, L. eventually gains a frightening grip over de Vigan.

The novel eventually explores which parts of the narrative are in itself fact or fiction.

Now, I know that this novel was nominated for the Goncourt, and ultimately won the Prix Renaudot. I also admit that it was an interesting, easy read, however, for me personally, it didn't have the depth to really stand out as a prize-worthy novel. I give it a 2 out of 3 and would probably recommend it to friends, however, its not a novel that stands out for me.

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