21 Jan Adeline Dieudonné with the Toronto Public Library
On Friday, February 5, at noon Eastern time, Adeline Dieudonné, considered one of the Francophone world’s most promising emerging voices, talks with Heather O’Neill (The Girl Who Was Saturday Night) about her debut novel, Real Life.
Adeline Dieudonné’s first novel, Real Life, was a literary sensation in the notoriously traditional Francopone arts & letters world when it was published in 2018 (as La vraie vie, L’Iconoclaste), scooping up many of the Francophone establishment’s most prestigious prizes (the Prix du Roman FNAC, the Prix Victor-Rossel, and the Prix Goncourt, among many, many others). The author was praised for her darkly comedic and intelligent portrayal of lower middle class contemporary European life through the eyes of a young girl in a family terrorized by the father. Though the darker sides of Dieudonné’s domestic drama are sometimes painful to read (constant power plays, the ever-present threat of violence), the book is at its core a dark comedy which shows us that power is often just an illusion. A stand-up comedian in her own right, Dieudonné has the wonderful ability to make a shocking tragedy early on in the book both terrifyingly macabre and hilarious in its tone.