Published : 24 August 2015
N° ISBN : 978-2-36956-021-0
Sonia Ristić was born in 1972 in Belgrade. She grew up in former Yugoslavia and Africa and has been living in Paris since 1991. She studied literature and theatre and became an actor and director. She worked with several NGOs on wars in former Yugoslavia and human rights. In 2004, she founded her own theatre company called ‘Seulement pour les fous’ (For Madmen Only). She teaches creative writing workshops in France and abroad.
La Belle Affaire
Like her namesake, André Breton’s famous character Nadja, Nadja is slightly weird, a bit ‘off’ as they say on the campus of the Vermont University where she teaches creative writing during the summer semester. She feels alien to herself and to the world, as if disconnected from her own body, from her career as a writer, from her family. She left all that in France.
As the scorching weeks rent by storms go by, she feels the weight of those pivotal moments on the verge of turning forty, the moments when you’re taking stock for the first time. New England feels like the scenery for a film and the memory of a teenage passion comes back to her, activated by an unexpected love encounter.
And so Nadja embarks on a dancing trip down memory lane, torn between past and present, between three men who marked her life as a woman, three moments of truths, three continents.
What remains of that first love? The love she remembers living as she trod barefoot on that red and ochre soil under the pouring rain.
Should pain always heal at all costs?
“A stirring read… The Sylvia Plath feel and the discreet duel between going to an alien place and going mad bring a universal dimension.” Yaël Hirsch, Toutelaculture.com
“A very beautiful novel.” Christian Eboulé, TV5 Monde
“A very beautiful novel whose sentences are filled with poetic motion. The heroine is very original and moving—many women will identify. Sonia Ristić’s book is a perfectly crafted page turner.” Hélène, femmeattitude.com
“A summer in Vermont and Nadja who’s in her forties, feels she’s reaching the end of something. Childhood memories bubble up and merge with the search for drunken and forgetful abandon with men.” Un livre, un jour, France Télévisions
“This novel manages to use the particular story of Nadja to tackle universal themes—exile, nostalgia, being torn from one’s country… Excellent writing. Excellent novel.” Félix Boulé, Radio Laser