MARION BRUNET Q&A from Paris, April 2020
Where you are currently living and are you needing to self-isolate in your country?
I live in Marseille, France.
How are these surreal days influencing your normal writing process?
At first, I thought it would be good to be forced to stay at home, that it would push me to work for longer periods, but with a 9-year-old child and home schooling, much less! And even when I don't have her with me, I find that the situation makes me anxious, it increasingly limits my ability to concentrate and upsets my creative process. I am worried about what will happen afterwards. But I still have to push forward with my next novel. As it is set behind closed doors on a sailboat, it is also a form of escape.
What are the little things that are getting you through this extraordinary time?
I ride an exercise bike, dance, cook. I reread great sagas which allow me to escape the real world, I who defend the literature of the real (black, social) more often than that of the "imaginary-escape". I have skype drinks with a group of friends every evening at the same time. I make plans for a post-Corona world, differently than what I would have done without this epidemic and its consequences. I believe that we will have to change things in-depth, and that we will come out different (and that it is desirable).
If you had to isolate yourself with one other writer, who would it be and why?
Vincent Villeminot. Because he is a friend, because he is always full of writing projects and he can be a driving force, because he is both very sociable and lonely, and because he appreciates good whiskey.
Do you have any local stories of kindness or good deeds that you can share?
Alas no, I live in a neighbourhood where people do not respect self-isolation and that makes me angry. And it's a working-class district where quite a few people were in trouble from the start. Confinement exacerbates social injustices and the tension is too great for beautiful gestures to emerge. There are bound to be some, but I haven't seen any.
What are you currently reading for pleasure?
I am rereading (for the seventh time!) The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
Is there a local dish or comfort food that you are eating more regularly at the moment, to get you through these turbulent times?
Pasta shells with Moliterno al Tartufo (but I don't overdo it ...).