European Union Prize for Literature

Creative EuropeEuropean and International Booksellers FederationEuropean Writers' CouncilFederation of European Publishers

Auteurs primés

Gaëlle Josse, France

A propos de l'auteur:

Venue à l’écriture par la poésie, Gaëlle Josse publie son premier roman Les heures silencieuses, en 2011, suivi de Nos vies désaccordées en 2012 et de Noces de neige en 2013. Ces trois titres ont remporté plusieurs prix, dont le Prix Alain-Fournier en 2013 pour Nos vies désaccordées. Le roman Les Heures silencieuses a été traduit en plusieurs langues et Noces de neige fait l’objet d’un projet d’adaptation au cinéma.
Après quelques années passées en Nouvelle-Calédonie, elle travaille à Paris et vit en région parisienne. Le dernier gardien d’Ellis Island a remporté le Prix du Grand Livre du Mois à l'automne dernier

Editeur:

Editions Noir sur Blanc  
7, rue des Canettes   
75006 Paris     
France     
Tel.: +33 (0)1 44 32 05 60   
http://www.leseditionsnoirsurblanc.fr/

Contact:
Publisher Notabilia (Editions Noir sur Blanc) - Brigitte Bouchard - allusive@me.com

Agent / Directeur des droits:

Christine Bonnard Legrand
christine.bonnardlegrand@libella.fr
http://www.libella.fr
tél: +33 (0)1 44 32 12 45

Droits étrangers:

The book has not been translated yet.

Contact de l'auteur:

http://gaellejosse.kazeo.com/

Livre primé:

Le dernier gardien d’Ellis Island (The Last Guardian of Ellis Island)

Synopsis:

New York, 3 novembre 1954. Dans cinq jours, le centre d'Ellis Island, passage obligé depuis 1892 pour les immigrants venus d'Europe, va fermer. John Mitchell, son directeur, officier du Bureau fédéral de l'immigration, est resté seul dans ce lieu déserté, à la fois gardien et prisonnier de cet îlot sur l'Hudson River, en face de Manhattan. À quelques jours de son départ, il éprouve le besoin de se libérer du souvenir de plusieurs épisodes de sa vie à Ellis, et commence un journal. Jusqu'au moment où...

Deux femmes, deux bateaux, deux histoires ont marqué sa vie : Liz, l'épouse aimée, et Nella, l'immigrante sarde porteuse d'un étrange passé. D'autres silhouettes ressurgissent dans ce temps de souvenir et de questionnement : Lazzarini, l'anarchiste italien, Kovacs, l'écrivain hongrois, dissident communiste fuyant le régime de Budapest avec son épouse, Brian, l'ami d'enfance né comme lui à Brooklyn, et d'autres encore.

Remords, transgression, devoir, perte, solitude, exil, mais aussi émotion amoureuse, sincérité. John Mitchell remonte le cours de sa vie.

Extrait:

Translated by Donald Winkler

For 45 years - I’ve had the time to count them - I saw those men, those women, those children, in their dignity and confusion and in their most presentable clothing, with their perspiration, their fatigue, their absent gazes, struggling to comprehend a language of which they didn’t know a single word, their dreams set down in the midst of their baggage. Trunks of wood or metal, baskets, suitcases, bags, carpets, blankets, and within themselves all that remained of a former life, the one they had left behind, and that, not to forget it, they had to keep locked away deep in their hearts so as not to yield to the anguish of separation, to the pain of remembering faces they would never again see. They had to move on, adapt to another life, another language, new signals, new customs, new foods, a different climate. To learn, to learn quickly, and not to look back. I don’t know if for most of them the dream was realized or if they were brutally launched into a day-to-day life that was barely worth the one they had fled. Too late to think about it, there was no going back on their exile.

I remember the day, many years ago now, when the meaning of a few sentences, etched in my memory since childhood, was shown to me in an instant, as if an object one thought to be of no use, but which one kept in the bottom of one’s pocket without knowing why, had one day revealed its purpose.

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?

That psalm of exile came back to me with amazing precision and great suddenness, and I felt as if, in the middle of the night, I had stumbled against an obstacle in a hallway, and only then remembered it was there. The Sunday service, when I was a child. I still remember the voice of Reverend Hackson, his sparrow-like silhouette in a black robe, his halting gait, his convulsive gestures, and his diffident voice lodged deep in his chest, a bit more assertive with each phrase, until it became a flood, a swell that I thought each time would never end.

Plus d'informations sur l'auteur avec extrait en v.o. et EN ou FR (PDF)

Dans les médias:

“A melancholic novel, The Last Guardian of Ellis Island lets us witness the closing of America’s Golden Door.”

Transfuge

“With sharp, precise writing, Gaëlle Josse brings a slice of American history to life (…) Stunning!”

Pages des Libraires

Autres travaux:

Noces de neige

Paris: Éditions Autrement, 2013

Nos vies désaccordées

Paris: Éditions Autrement, 2012

Les heures silencieuses

Paris: Éditions Autrement, 2011