Christine mentally added up the calories. If she drank a glass, she would have to compensate by depriving herself of lunch. But with the marathon three months off, there was no question of skipping a meal. With a sinking feeling, she controlled herself and went on sipping her tea. A distinction that doctors were in her view incapable of understanding. Even as a teenager, her nerves had kept her from going out with her friends in the evening. Her mother, a beautiful woman of implacable authority, had, with an excess of reprimands, stripped her of all her self-confidence.
Soon alcohol had become a lifeline. One day a sensible boy who wanted to kiss her told her he thought she was beautiful.
- The Other Side of Wild;
- Strange (Short Story Collection Book 1).
- IBM PH (TS): CWMMSE: Error getting application placement controller (APC) MBean!
- The Other Side of Wild.
It was a revelation. More than love, compliments became her question.
But her obsession with being liked, for want of success, brought her nothing but suffering. Rather than entrusting her soul to a shrink, she paid attention to her body, and more importantly to her clothing. She moulted several times a season, and was careful never to miss the sales. A new coat was enough for her to be reborn. She felt like someone else, better, definitely more beautiful. Alas, very often, she was the only one aware of her transformation. Arriving at a dinner party, for example, she did not achieve the effect she was hoping for. Her friends placed less importance on outward appearance.
Stripped of her armour at the cloakroom, her only refuge lay in drunkenness. The first few minutes before a drink were torture. Christine tended to say anything at all when she was asked a question. She could, in her desire to be in tune with everybody, contradict herself at any time. She doled out flattery, expecting compliments in return. Sometimes she led men to believe that she was falling in love.
That won her their sympathy at least. And when nothing worked, she stayed silent, stuck in her unease, hating herself. The opening of the bottle wounded the moment of her release, the good times had arrived. For a moment she forgot her mediocrity. Once the glass was in her hand, a mechanism was set in motion.
Christine took care not to drink too quickly, to take maximum advantage of the euphoric effect of the first mouthful. She made it a point of honour that no one should notice her terrible pleasure. Alcohol spread its sweet warmth through her blood, blew in each of her limbs like a spring breeze. Her brain became calmer, freeing itself gradually from all responsibility. She was reconciled with her surroundings, with the people around her, with the whole of humanity; but most of all with herself.
It always ended the same way. Christine thought she was being funny and gay when she was just making a fool of herself. Patrick, her husband, always pointed this out just as she felt most liberated. He would regret it. Patrick knew who would regret what the following day. Her mother could no longer feed herself normally. Sweets accumulated in the drawer of her bedside table. It took Christine a long time to stop trying to feed her. She had become dreadfully thin. Christine stepped backwards in the room and bumped into the nurse, apologised and said there must have been a mistake.
Patrick picked her up in the car park and wrapped her in his arms, where she could finally cry. The formula. And she stopped crying after that. Christine took up running three days later. She had been running for a year. She had learned from magazines, from the internet. Because yes, you can indeed learn how to run. Today, she was subjecting herself to a training regime worthy of a professional. But her belly was protesting against such an effort. Christine disappeared into a forest or a field of maize for a few minutes around about the eighteenth kilometre. She conscientiously recorded everything in a notebook.
Her times, her distances, but also her moods and sensations while training. Then she did sums and made comparisons. It gave her encouragement. The programme was very strict, the objective rather high. She had been warned. She imagined covering the forty-two kilometres and two hundred and fifty metres in three hours and ten minutes. Or an average of thirteen point three kilometres an hour.
Rather than being discouraged, she took heart from the doubts of experienced runners. Her success would bring praise raining down upon her. Soon nothing was more important in her eyes than that objective. Patrick hesitated between admiration, encouragement and worry. Most importantly, he was often absent during this time.
An increased work-load kept him late at the office. Food was at the very heart of her preparation. She had to measure things, to take great care what she ate. She had to lose weight in order to run better. To increase lightness and limit the risk of injury. She dreamed of seeing that cumbersome body melting away, the last obstacle to her flight, her ecstasy. She neglected her husband, too. She set off early to go running in the cold and rain. They no longer saw much of each other. She gleaned advice from specialist magazines. The covers showed healthy young people. She scoured each picture for reflections of her fantasy.
Men and women blurring in a single fleshly ideal.
Christine discovered that the hardest thing about a marathon was the preparation. Solange Delhomme was born near Paris in She loves Japanese literature, and she enjoys both watercolour painting and surfing. She lives and works in Paris. Crossings is her first novel. When her grandmother dies, Clara discovers some private notebooks and letters that belonged to her mother, Marie, whom she never knew and who, she believes, ran away shortly after she was born. Reading these lines suddenly shatters silences, secrets and absences that go back many years.
Clara discovers a father she no longer recognises, an abandoned mother and a grandmother devastated by an unhappy love affair. She seeks refuge in her wind-beaten seaside house that seems to resonate with her own turmoil. In this first novel, sustained by a unique narrative construction, the characters cross paths without ever truly finding each other.
But also the question of choice or fate. To be saved or destroyed. The narrow, bare room is stifling in spite of the cold, its white walls glistening softly in the night, with a section of starless sky and the sea roaring in the distance. On the bed, her eyes wide open in the dark, Clara lies motionless. Her slender, outstretched body, its frame visible under her skin that is still silky despite the passage of time, shows a tension in its fragility, the strength of the working sketch.
Her thoughts are leading her away. She lets herself drift, unable to escape from what has so tormented her for so long, those moments wasted in attempts, endeavours and hope followed by flight. Since everything has failed, she is forgetting herself in the illusion of the past returning to life. In the dark, the sea approaches, swells and rolls against the house, then slides alongside her, lifts her and retreats, pulling her back with it.
Clara closes her eyes. Later, her train of thought deposits her in the dreary light of dawn just as the tide leaves a timber on the pebbles. She wakes, her thoughts as scattered as her hair, feeling drained, spun about by a terrible passing whirlwind, impaled by the sensation, a blade, the resurgent of the memory. The thought vanishes again, instantly elusive.
It leaves on her the impression of a disaster that has already happened, been buried and then suddenly revealed, so quickly that it can only be imperfectly remembered. Clara recognises the fear but she cannot find its source. What took place is experienced in an instant, its trace rediscovered in her, then lost again. Suffering does not bring anything useful. As day breaks, everything is already beginning over again and as the light begins to cross the edge of the bed, Clara takes a decision.
To cease moving, let go completely and slide along the slope already carved out, then simplify further, become a smaller presence, purge and free the skeleton, every fibre tensed. She rests on the bed, in this room, between the walls that will gradually close in and eventually suffocate her. Waiting for her body to understand and adjust, she lets her thoughts permeate her, presenting her with a sequence of images from the past, retracing the journey, searching, growing restless, then struggling, getting tired and finally lost. So perhaps, before madness can overwhelm her completely, something will be born in her.
After the storm, calm; after the turbulence, silence and peace. Either the wild creatures will be tamed or they will have devoured her. In the stillness of morning, the sea breeze. I look up at your face. Your serious, solemn face, set at an angle, gazing down at me. Not a smile, not a word. A long gaze. A ponderous truth. I cannot escape it. You move closer, you give me a kiss, a kiss as light as a cloud, a morning kiss, a kiss that says hello. Your lips placed tenderly and cheerfully on mine. It is a caress, it is a dream; it lingers, I cannot forget it. It is a dream. At first there was a scarcely audible hum, then a brief whistling.
A few minutes later, no sooner had they cleared their plates from the meal-table than it had started again and continued without stopping. It had become a harsh grating noise that oscillated and intensified from one moment to the next and rolled up between the mast and the shrouds; all the metal parts of the boat had also started to clink and whistle, along with the other boats, and this had been going on for over an hour. The noise signalled an oncoming wind, even more, a storm. Everyone who heard it knew. They felt their napes and backs growing tenser and heavier under the pressure of a worry that mounted as this rose, with the gusts shaking the badly folded sails on the decks and the sea breaking against the sides of the wet boats there.
Short, sharp waves were jumping and running amok like lunatics. Dusk was falling, a dark threat hanging over the sea washed white by the turbulent weather. Her father had said there was no reason to be afraid. He laughed and teased her, mimicking the blowing gusts, coming up to whistle into her ear. He had had a bit to drink. The clumsiness that made him bump against the recessed areas of the kitchen, the card table and the steps at the entrance was not only due to the swaying of the boat.
When it was time for the weather report, Clara had watched from her berth as he sat down and switched on the radio. She had straightened up to hear the rapid voice better as it issued the forecast. Her eyes level with the port-hole, she could see the waves rushing up to her and, on the current that formed her horizon, a few lights from the island that were blinking and seemed to be slowly drowning. There was no place left for them at the port, only this uncertain mooring; there was a risk they would be searching all night long.
Pierre had decided to leave. The narrow berth held her in place but the boat was moving forward with sudden jolts and bumps. The world was nothing but noises. Water everywhere. And then, amid all this din, an unexpected stop, a dull roar. The list had suddenly worsened. Everything unsecured in the cabin tumbled down in a staggering crash.
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Clara stayed wedged into the berth, clinging to the edge, stifling a cry. The door to the deck fell completely open on Pierre, with a blast of rain and ice-cold air. His face was twisted by the strain, his dark eyes all but disappearing under his brows between the deep furrows, his long hair drenched. He looked like a drowned man. Without a word or a look in her direction, he had sat down heavily, head in his hands, shaken by sobbing.
They had remained that way for a long time, he dripping on the steps and she upright in her berth, with the boat leaning at a bizarre angle, absurd, trapped in the violence of the impact and the damp, cold and chaos of the upturned cabin. The boat had hit some shallows; Pierre had been powerless to prevent it. No means of escape. They could only wait for help in the hope that the boat would stay afloat. That night, Clara had realised that it was not the storm, nor the raging currents that ran through the sea, nor the rocks that had finally stopped them that had frightened her.
It was him—his anger and his panic, and his dangerous weakness that had almost killed them. She was ten years old. Her life with Pierre had begun when her mother had left several years earlier, leaving the two of them talking together in a Paris flat. Pierre never mentioned it; there was nothing to be said about it.
There was not a single photo or object in the flat; everything had disappeared. As if none of it had ever happened. She only knew that she was called Marie and that there had been a before and an after. At the end of the dream, a drawer would open in the table, swallowing up the notebooks and the woman. Clara awoke with a strange sensation in her mouth, as if a delicious sweet had been taken from her before she had even had time to taste it, a film on her lips.
After their semi-drowning incident, nothing more had been said about boats. The night had felt interminable, with silence reigning in the devastated cabin, as the rain and the gusts continued to howl outside before slowly beginning to subside. They had not moved, nor slept, physically and mentally numbed, clinging on as best they could in the sloping boat. There had been no words uttered, nor any comforting gesture, as each lay alone at either end of the cabin. He had offered no explanations, and she had asked no questions. The lifeboat had found them and brought them back to land the following morning.
Their boat had proved extremely difficult to tow. It was damaged and Pierre had got rid of it. Afterwards, he had never spoken of it again, ashamed of what had happened and his own carelessness and weakness. They had returned to Paris, each with some bruises, he with some cuts on his hands, and a new discord between them. Day by day, her father cast a slightly longer shadow over her. After that night in the boat, when she had realised that it was his own panic that had taken them on to the reef, she had kept her distance from him.
Silence had engulfed them even more. They had continued to be gripped by fear; he in his powerless rage, she in her forlorn disappointment. Life had resumed its journeying between the Paris flat and the cold, weather-beaten seaside house. The low, grey houses faced on to the large beach, the steely horizon, the islands and foreign lands. This was where he had learnt all there was to know about the sea, fishing, boats, the winds and the tides. He had left it all behind in order to come to study in Paris. He had stayed there.
His parents had long since died; the house was only inhabited at weekends and during holidays. They came there whenever they could; they did not sleep well there. A journey across time with its own inexorable momentum, full of evasive elliptical detail, and of memories and emotions illuminated with acerbic humour, total lucidity and an indefatigable longing for justice.
Her last two novels have also both been adapted for film and are currently in production. Two strangers is her sixth novel. Father and daughter have fallen out so many times, hurting each other and inflicting petty humiliations on each other, that in the end they no longer even speak the same language: they have become two strangers. She takes her ancient Renault 5—her only legacy from her beloved mother—and heads for Marrakech.
Not that he particularly admired this left-wing figure, but he had an absolute fascination for power, and the Head of State was its supreme incarnation. It was only with this animal that my father was ever truly kind. And reliably even tempered. He loved that dog, venerated her.
But as I grew up I realised most dog owners behaved like him. These people could insult their wives, mistreat their children and be pigs to their friends, but they were always absolutely lovely to their dogs. Because dogs have the unique trait of being both servile and loving. You just have to know how to train them. They accept teasing, privation and contempt. Some children do too, but when children grow up they then resent you and walk out—not dogs.
To the very end. Because they know no shame. It would take too much effort.
French-English Dictionary (35,273 Entries)
Too much humanity. Simon, on the other hand, had a cat when we met. A little grey cat who was quite shy, he was called Woody. This particular cat hated being stroked, never listened to a thing you said and could vanish for days on end with no sign of life. He was afraid of everything. Very nervous, neurotic even, and spectacularly selfish. When my father called three days ago, Tom used the word somebody to describe him.
I often think about him, though. His voice had exactly the same weight of authority as it used to, the same icy, intransigent tone which made my brother and me call him Adolf, Tito, Pol Pot or Benito. I felt like hanging up on the spot. To say what? What did he want from me? What had. I done now? I let him talk, it was very brief. I knew it was a mistake. He could use it against me later, but there was no way I could keep news like this to myself: my father had just called me after seven years without making contact, he wanted to see me, he was expecting me at his house in Marrakech before the end of the month, it was momentous news, unfathomable even, it was completely unbelievable news given who we were dealing with and the relationship I had with him, I really had to offload it onto someone the way characters in cartoons hand on a piece of dynamite, quick, quick, before it blows up in your hands, and Simon was the only person who would understand the scope of news like this.
And now I needed his advice, his support. I needed him to hold me in his arms and tell me exactly what to do. I gave the driver the name of his hotel and we headed along the banks of the Seine towards Place de la Concorde. But maybe he wanted a complete change of scene? Maybe, like the other customers there, he liked to think he would buy a one-way ticket to Prague or Budapest and never come back. The thought almost made me lose my footing as I stepped out of the taxi.
I ran the short distance to the hotel and stopped briefly outside the door. Even though it was dark, I could see through the glass and make out the receptionist behind his desk, a bald little man with an inscrutable face, and behind him the pigeon holes with keys dangling in them, it really looked like the sort of place you booked by the hour.
I asked which room Simon was in, then said I was going up. The man got to his feet and reached his arm out to me: Wait. I stopped in my tracks and we stayed like that for a few seconds, frozen, slightly idiotic. In the end the man picked up his phone and while he waited for a reply he asked me in a whisper for my name. I lied. The room full of tables was almost empty, there was just a couple at a little table in the window, they were rather like an atoll lost in the middle of the ocean, but the bar was a mass of people, immigrants clustering round to watch the television.
It was a bulky old set hanging from the ceiling, like in a hospital room, and it was showing images of what had come to be known as the Arab spring. A few months earlier a street pedlar in Tunisia had set himself alight outside the government buildings, triggering a revolt that toppled the regime and took down those in Egypt, Libya and the Yemen in its wake. Morocco was not affected. Not yet, I thought. I succumbed to the magnetic draw of those emotive images in which crowds of people marched as one, forming such a compact tide that you instantly felt you were suffocating.
The men at the bar made comments in Arabic. Christian Garcin was born in Marseille in In the summer of , as part of the France-Russia cross-cultural exchange year, Garcin joined a group of French writers travelling along the Yenisei River in central Siberia to the closed city of Norilsk. In , he was awarded the prix Roger-Caillois for his entire oeuvre. Frenchman Thomas Rawicz, whose only crime is a rather scatter-brained approach to life, is being held prisoner in a dingy room, sitting opposite a Chinaman convinced that he has finally tracked down Tomas Krawczyk, a gangster involved in prostitution and child trafficking whom he has been chasing for weeks.
Once the case of mistaken identity has been resolved, Thomas is released. Interested to learn what brought these two allies together, he joins them, postponing his departure for Irkutsk, where. What connection can there be between a Korean prostitute, a professional movie extra with a long career in Hong Kong Kung-Fu films, two soldiers killed in the Sino-Soviet war of , a strange bright-eyed Siberian woman and a Latino gang leader? What happens when personal histories become entangled with world history? He jutted his chin at the photo. His other hand, the one tied to the cast-iron radiator, was hurting.
Thomas Rawicz. You took my passport, so you should know. Every so often, there was a nauseating whiff of diesel. Darkness fell slowly like a thick, damp quilt. They could hear voices, the din of birds and a few cars, which sounded farther away, their engines muted. Probably a park, thought Thomas. Perhaps the small scruffy park below the avenue that ran alongside the port, between the boulevard with its busy traffic and the cranes.
I think I saw what looked like an abandoned shed there yesterday. He coughed and asked for a sip of water. Fat chance. But I do like your nickname. A while ago, I read a book about a bloke with the same name. Or, at least, his nickname was Zorro or Zuo Luo. He was Chinese too. A book about someone called Zuo Luo, anyway. A story about a private detective who helped young women who had been sold by their families. His real name was Tchou Weng Wang. At least, I think that was his name.
He was much fatter. Why, is that your name? That adds up to quite a bit. Fat cheeks, a real sumo wrestler type. What was the book about? A friend of his was also in it, as I remember, an informer called Duck Face. As well as loads of women. Through the small, open window, they could hear occasional snatches of conversation in Russian, floating above the more distant noise of the cars. Or Japan. Or was he French like you? I think it was attributed to a Frenchman but written by a Chinaman.
Or the other way round. When will your friend get here? There was a silence. Darkness had fallen. The strange darkness of an electrical night. The birds were quiet now. All they could hear was the odd fragment of Russian conversation and the rumble of lorries in the background. And there was still the smell of diesel fumes. Even though it was night time, the heat was sticky and uncomfortable. We then spent the evening drinking.
My train for Irkutsk was due to leave during the night. After that, I simply went to the wrong platform. I blame those stupid, bureaucratic, centralized Russian train timetables, though the booze might have had something to do with it. I was supposed to take the 3. So, although the Belogorsk-Irkutsk train did leave at 3. Moscow time—in other words, the one leaving at 9. That had to be the one, the train indicator said 9. By another stroke of bad luck, my seat upper bunk on the left as you entered the carriage was unoccupied.
In the meantime, a small plump woman had taken the lower bunk, and an old man the one opposite. I greeted them with a silent smile. There were another fifteen hours to go before we arrived in Vladivostok. I had nothing to do there but, after all, what did I have to lose? I prayed no ticket inspector would show up and make me get off the train in the middle of nowhere, in some gloomy town surrounded by impenetrable forests, disused factories or former gulags. A man and a younger woman meet in contemporary Port-au-Prince, the violent, poverty-stricken, fearsomely beautiful Haitian capital.
Their passion is at once carnal and intellectual, touched by the shadow of a past trauma. In choosing to write this novel almost three years after the earthquake, Yanick Lahens provides a stunning celebration of the victory of life and writing over catastrophe. Yanick Lahens lives in Haiti. Guillaume is a sociologist, Nathalie an architect. They meet at the office of the French agency funding the construction of a community centre on which both are working.
Guillaume, now 50, his utopian ideals long abandoned, has spent his whole life in Haiti, Nathalie has just returned, having left suddenly at the age of From initial exasperation their mutual attraction turns into a dance of seduction as each gives way to a passion that will not be denied. Yanick Lahens is a fine storyteller who does not shy away from using the codes of the erotic novel to captivate her readers, writing of the impatience of desire and the unthinking. But she also looks beyond the particular situation of her characters and, as she plunges Guillaume and Nathalie into their affair, never forgets where they come from, still less where they are now.
A couple pass through the door of an apartment block in Pacot, up on the hill overlooking Port-au-Prince, in the fiery glow of dusk. The sunset wraps the city in glittering colour, masking its shuddering tumult, the miraculous, searing passage of the centuries. At this hour you can watch the silence rise, dampening the great racket of days tossed this way and that. A silence that hangs like a veil between sky and earth.
The silence of rooms locked to contain the agitated monologues of the flesh. Turmoil, trembling, fever.
Oliver Jonas Queen
Guillaume has taken no special care over his appearance. He has never seen the need for such attention to the surface of things. No more than that. And her thirties suit her. Guillaume is a good fifteen years older. In other words, he has left the first half of his life behind, whereas she, Nathalie, is in her prime.
The imminence of this seems inevitable. As they enter the narrow street the space between them reduces. Eventually they touch. At shoulder height. Every now and then their upper arms brush against each other. Helena, refusant que cela n'arrive, fit chanter Oliver en utilisant Tommy pour le forcer de l'aider. Oliver finit par accepter. L'instinct de vengeance. Le sauveur. Un retour inattendu. Le programme. Lorsque Moira refusa de parler, Diggle fit mine de frapper Oliver pour forcer Moira de parler.
Menace sur la ville. Il finit par accepter, mais refusa de redevenir La Capuche. Le combat continu. L'union fait la force. Elle refusa et il promit de garder son secret. Deux autres assassins apparurent, et Oliver et Sara durent s'enfuir. La Ligue des assassins. Pacte avec l'ennemi. Le scientifique. Cyrus Gold prit rapidement l'avantage sur Oliver, mais une hallucination de Tommy lui redonna ses forces et sa motivation. Il propulsa Cyrus Gold contre un mur et fit exploser le stock de Mirakuru, tuant son ennemi. Du poison dans les veines. Il s'y rendit en costume et trouva Brother Blood tenant Laurel en otage.
Oliver s'accusa d'avoir cru aux accusations de Laurel uniquement parce qu'elles venaient de Laurel. Le masque tombe. Vivre ou mourir. Il appela Laurel pour qu'elle vienne, mais Quentin lui dit qu'elle ne viendra pas. L'heure de la mort. Pendant la visite, Oliver appela Felicity. Il demanda ensuite l'aide d' Alexi Leonov pour trouver Slade. Elle lui apprit qu'elle le pensait mort, mais qu'A. Oliver sut qu'il s'agissait de Slade. L'escadron suicide. Il se rendit donc au tribunal pour rencontrer Laurel.
Les anges de la mort. Lorsqu'Oliver intervient, Roy dit qu'il en avait finit, et quitta les lieux. Il ne les acheva cependant pas, et quitta les lieux. Labs pour qu'ils puissent en faire un antidote. Il appela ensuite Isabel en lui disant qu'il se rendait. Nyssa brisa le cou d'Isabel, la tuant pour de bon.
L'assaut final. Incapable d'obtenir un signal clair, Diggle proposa de passer au plan B. Roy fut distrait lorsqu'Oliver l'appela Speedy. Oliver s'assura que le gadget d'autopilote de Felicity fonctionnait avant de sauter de l'avion. La condition de Roy finit par se stabiliser. Felicity informa ensuite Oliver d'une prise d'otage au sommet de la Tour Winnick. Soudain, Brother Blood apparut.
Il assomma Clinton au passage. Toutes ces hallucinations provenaient du Vertigo de Zytle. Brother Blood refusa cependant, comme Oliver s'y attendait. Oliver choisit finalement Helena. Roy Harper intervient soudain. Caleb kidnappa ensuite Laurel et attira Oliver au manoir Queen. Le chauffeur, Vincent Steelgrave tenta de s'enfuir mais Oliver le captura, lui dit qu'il avait trahi la ville puis l'assomma. Arrow fut surpris, mais se reprit rapidement et ligota son adversaire.
Il lui exprima aussi ses doutes, car Dr. Ce dernier partit en utilisant sa super-vitesse, ce qui impressionna Oliver en retour. Retour en force. Book Description Editions de l'Aube. Condition: UsedAcceptable.
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