Valérie Mréjen (b. Paris, 1969) is a writer and a performance and video artist, trained at France’s Ecole Nationale Supérieur d’Arts. She was an honorary member of the experimental literary group Oulipo in 2001, and a Prix de Rome laureate in 2002-3 (with a residency at the Villa Medici). The Jeu de Paume gallery presented a retrospective of her work in 2008, and she held a residency at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto in 2010.
Forêt noire is her latest novel, published by POL Editeur in 2012.
Featured Reading Group Title: Forêt Noire
Forêt noire is a book about the ghosts that haunt our memory, an open-ended inventory of the recurring, familiar-sounding deaths of people the author has known, or been told about. It’s an imagined walk through the streets of Paris, too, in the company of the author’s late mother: a wonderfully vivid catalogue of tiny everyday details. What would she think? How would she react? The world of the living has moved on too far.
Mréjen was inspired, she says, by the often absurd openings of the US TV series Six Feet Under; and by a phrase from the journal of Mirelle Havet, written in 1918, “… and I am full of the dead, like a crypt, full of memories and dreams.”
- This title features as part of our Spring 2013 French reading group.
- Click here to read Simon Pare’s translated extract