La Cabine de Pages by Victoria Mas in Roscoff: “It was essential for me to write this new novel in Brittany”

Victoria Mas is the daughter of a famous singer of the 80s but she made a name for herself by publishing her first novel 3 years ago, which won numerous prizes including the Renaudot for high school students and has already been adapted for cinema and comics. Here she is again at the heart of the literary season with a second novel “A miracle” (Alboin Michel) which takes us to Roscoff and the Ile de Batz.

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The Interceltic Festival of Lorient 2022

Here we are in Roscoff with the island of Batz in the background. These two places are almost full-fledged characters in your new novel. A miracle which has just been released by Albin Michel. Why does this corner of northern Finistère hold such a place in your book? How did you find out about it, you who didn’t grow up here?

It was essential for me to write “A miracle“in Brittany, land of tales and legends, mystical land, mysterious land, both bright and dark. I think the places in my novels are the main characters. And here we are indeed in the middle of the main character of this book.

“A miracle
“, it is the story of a premonitory dream entrusted to a nun, Sister Anne… “The Virgin is going to appear in Brittany”… Sister Anne then accepts a mission in Roscoff but it is not she who will have the privilege of a vision but a fragile teenager from the island of Batz… And it’s a whole balance that will tip…. It is both a question of faith, of beliefs, of superstitions too… Why did you invest in this spiritual or mystical question??

Quite simply, it is by leaning on the biography of Saint Catherine Labouré that I was interested a little more broadly in the phenomenon of Marian apparitions which have been recorded over the centuries and in particular many in France.

I found that it was first of all at the sociological level a very interesting event and a tremendous catalyst for all human passions and it is this aspect, beyond the religious character, beyond the truthful character or not of these apparitions, that I wanted to explore and transcribe in the novel.

The chapel of Saint-Barbe saw the caseyeur depart, mute, forgotten by the sailors, patroness who had become simply bitter, a vestige from which the present had taken away all prestige.

Victoria Mas

A miracle (Albin Michel)

And how didyou prepared for this job?

I first looked at the various Marian apparitions that had been recorded over the centuries, recognized or not by the Church. I was trying to understand the movements of the crowd, the reactions of these crowds, these movements, this hope that the simple word of a seer arouses each time and this need for the extraordinary and marvelous that Man has always had. .

It fed my writing, it fed those characters. Through the character of Isaac who sees something appearing to him or not, it’s a whole ecosystemthe whole microcosm of an island that is turned upside down.

Death is in these pages, the Ankou Breton legends too…

I tried to feed on all these legends, all these myths, all these Breton tales, without writing a fantastic story. But, it is really all this literature that still nourishes Breton thought, Breton culture and which gives a romantic aspect to the life of the Bretons that I tried to transcribe in “A miracle“.

How do you write after a first novel that has had so much success? Does it give confidence?

It’s a confidence and a comfort to have people who are enthusiastic, who are waiting for the book. I am deeply grateful for what “The Fools’ Ball” allowed to give birth and I also hope that this one can also travel wherever he wants.

Here is a special back-to-school selection.

We were talking about beliefs, mysteries and good with this little album signed Céline Lamour Crochet and Pylb published by Beluga, Coop breizhAt the school of the korrigans” will no longer hold any secrets for you… Konan will even reveal its location and the rules to be respected and you will understand why the korrigans have pointy ears…

In the school of Juno and James, there is a new master with gleaming plumage, it is Owl-Cabbage…With him, back to school is great! Here is a new and still very endearing character from the Breton duo Sandra Le Guen and Maureèn Poignonec. After Whale Taxi, express turtle, this new album makes it possible to approach the start of the school year with sweetness and poetry. A Little Urban publication.

And finally, Lili Scoundrel is also making a comeback… She tells about it in her diary. In the first volume, this character with features imagined by the illustrator of the Emerald Coast jules, is in Mr. Bretelle’s class while his friends are with the horrible Mrs. Chevarche, the witch… There are of course the laughs in the canteen but also a new one that’s a little weird… In short, it’s funny, it’s signed Virginy L.Samm and it is published by Martinière jeunesse. Note that volume 2 was already released in the spring.

isabella philippe from Café-bookstore Le Tagarin in Binic-Etables sur mer shares with us a favorite: You will be my father by Metin Arditi (Grasset)

“The story takes place in Italy at the beginning. It’s a 7-year-old boy who will suffer a tragedy, since the Red Brigades kidnap his father. We will find this child a little later, his father committed suicide and he’s going to go to a boarding school in Switzerland. There he’s going to discover an incredible theater teacher and they’re going to share passions: the mountains, the theatre. This child is going to discover a secret that he should never have discovered and I don’t tell you no more. This book is to read, they are fabulous characters, and an exceptional story.”

Contemplations, Victor Hugo, Gallimard

Immense collection of poetry but also formidable collection of spirituality. Victor Hugo wrote it in exile on Guernsey but one could believe oneself in Brittany with this relationship to nature, this contemplation of wide open spaces, this silence and this intuition of the Greatest. I recommend it and re-read it endlessly.”

From September 7 to 13, around twenty authors of dark novels are expected in Perros-Guirec for the the Roz and the Black festival.

La Cabine de Pages by Victoria Mas in Roscoff: “It was essential for me to write this new novel in Brittany”