A Residency (or Two) at Chalet Mauriac

One of the great joys awarded by my profession is to be able to work anywhere you choose. And every once in a while you get to do residencies in places where you can translate intensively, isolated from the world but in contact with other colleagues. Last year I was lucky enough to receive one of the six-week scholarships offered annually by the Chalet Mauriac. The Chalet is the former summer home of François Mauriac, the Bordeaux author who wrote Thérèse Desqueyroux and Viper’s Tangle and who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1952. Today this house, in the village of Saint-Symphorien, located in the area of the Landes, is owned by the Region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. And ALCA, the region’s agency for books, cinema and audiovisual arts, organizes different residency programs here throughout the year .

Although last year my trip hung by a thread due to lockdown 1.0, in the end I was able to come and spend part of the planned weeks at the Chalet. I worked on a complex and fascinating novel, Après la guerre by Hervé Le Corre, published in France by Rivages… and soon to be published in Spain by Reservoir Books. I also spent my time reading Mauriac and walking in the pine forest. And had a chance to speak at length about my work with Olivier Desmettre, who interviewed me for Prologue. The residency was a fantastic and very productive experience.

And now the world has smiled in my direction again and I have been invited to come and spend a few more weeks here, along with Valèria Gaillard and Željka Somun, who have won this year’s translation scholarships. I’m working on a different project that’s just as exciting… and translating here in the middle of this peaceful forest is just a dream. Long live residencies!

Le Chalet Mauriac

Les Landes

Saint Symphorien

Fiction | French into Spanish | My Own Trumpet | Recommended | Residencies and Fellowships

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