Following her Goncourt-winning first novel Le tiers temps, written about Beckett, Maylis Besserie continues her tender exploration of great Irish literary figures with Les amours dispersées (Gallimard).
It is 1939, in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin cemetery. William Butler Yeats emerges from his grave to recount ‘the troubling of his life’, his love for Irish nationalist Maud Gonne and their shared roles in gaining Irish independence. His awakening has been spurred on by the fact that secret diplomatic documents have resurfaced calling into question the contents of the coffin brought back to Ireland for his State funeral. Where in fact has the poet’s body gone? Is it still, as he wrote, ‘somewhere among the clouds above’? What is left behind of our loves and of our deaths if not their poetry?