Karine Tuil’s Favourite English Language Writers
The Sound and the Fury gave me one of my greatest literary shocks. Faulkner deconstructs the language, he plays with words and punctuation, lending musicality to his writings. This novel utterly reconfigured my literary approach.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald’s novels combine a literary language with a complex thought. I particularly like his way of observing a social environment in order to better depict it. The Crack-Up is one of the most beautiful texts I have ever read; I quote Fitzgerald in The Age of Reinvention.
In my opinion, Philip Roth is the greatest American writer, and probably the one who influenced me the most. His literary obsessions are mine too: Jewish identity, conflicts, politics, decrepitude. Roth’s novels convey images with an outstanding and breathtaking force.
In Cold Blood was also a formative text for me, especially when I wrote my novel Douce France, which takes place in a detention center for undocumented immigrants. I worked as a reporter and then had to blend fiction and reality together.
Bret Easton Ellis
Emil Cioran said that a novel must be dangerous. That is the way I see literature: reading is like entering a discomfort zone. Bret Easton Ellis’ books have this ability to stir the reader, in order to “break the frozen sea within us”, in Kafka’s words.
Franzen captures our world and our society with an acute precision. His novels reveal people’s flaws with an amazing power.
Zadie Smith is a much-admired author in France, probably because she expresses perfectly the pitfalls of identity in her very own style.
Nicole Krauss is one of the most talented writers of her generation. The themes she addresses – and particularly her meditations on memory – really interest me. I also appreciate the place she gives to literature in her works – especially the many references to authors such as Borges or Bolaño.
Politics is among the best and most original first novels I have read. Thirlwell’s work is the perfect combination of a brilliant mind with a singular style.