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Marie NDiaye  [ France, Germany ]

Biography

Portrait NDiaye
Copyright Marie NDiaye / C. Heike Steinweg

Guest 2008, 2017.

Bibliography

Comédie Classique

P.O.L.

Paris, 1987

Die lieben Verwandten

Hanser

München, 1993

[Ü.: Rolf Wintermeyer]

Die Hexe

Kunstmann

München, 1997

[Ü.: Andrea Spingler]

Rosie Carpe

Suhrkamp

Frankfurt a. M., 2005

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Alle meine Freunde

Suhrkamp

Frankfurt a. M., 2006

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Mein Herz in der Enge

Suhrkamp

Frankfurt a. M., 2008

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Drei starke Frauen

Suhrkamp

Berlin, 2010

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Selbstporträt in Grün

Arche

Zürich/Hamburg, 2011

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Ein Tag zu lang

Suhrkamp

Berlin, 2012

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Ladivine

Suhrkamp

Berlin, 2014

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Die Chefin

Roman einer Köchin

Suhrkamp

Berlin, 2017

[Ü.: Claudia Kalscheuer]

Marie NDiaye was born in Pithiviers, France, in 1967. She grew up in a southern suburb of Paris, where her French mother settled after separating from NDiaye’s Senegalese father.

NDiaye is considered a »child prodigy of French literature«. Her first novel, the Proustian study of a young man titled »Quant au riche avenir« (tr. As for a promising future) was released by a well-known publisher when she was just 17 years old. Her next book »Comédie classique« (1987), brilliant and artistic in equal measure, consists of a single sentence that runs to more than a hundred pages. Her language has since become more simple without losing the ingenuity of exact observation and characteristic tone of subliminal threat. For this reason critics have placed her in the tradition of Kafka, James and Faulkner. NDiaye’s subsequent novels center around residual secrets and ambiguous »borderline« figures who strive for recognition – although they lack the strength –– and suffer from feelings of inferiority and overextension. In »En Famille« (1990; »Among Family«, 1997), an 18-year-old returning to her mother’s family must painfully come to terms with their refusal to recognize her. In the prize-winning novel »Rosie Carpe« (2001) a woman – who is expecting a child but s unable to remember how it was conceived – follows her family from France to Guadeloupe, where she tries without much success to escape the vicious circle of her own awkwardness, wretched relationships and brutalized environment. In »Mon cœur à l’étroit« (2007; Eng. »My Heart Hemmed In«, 2017) a bourgeois married couple, both teachers, are torn from their everyday lives as they are suddenly ostracized by everyone - including their own children. NDiaye’s next novel, the Prix Goncourt-winning political and feminist work »Trois femmes puissantes« (2009; Eng. »Three Strong Women«, 2012), presents the family as the source of violence. »Ladivine« (2013; Eng. 2016) is the unsettlingly Kafkaesque tale of a teacher whose wife and son disappear inexplicably while on holiday. As he searches for them he stumbles into unknown parallel worlds that challenge everything he has considered to be true to this point. »La Cheffe, roman d’une cuisinière« (2016; tr. The boss. Novel of a female chef), an anti-biography lacking any biographical data, tells of a cook of humble origins who eventually opens her own restaurant in Bordeaux

NDiaye was a fellow at the Villa Medici in Rome in 1990, and is a Prix Femina and Nelly Sachs Prize recipient. She has written essays, short stories and children’s books, and is a successful playwright. »Papa doit manger« (2003; tr. Daddy has to eat) is only the second play by a female playwright to be included in the repertoire of the Comédie Française. She has lived in Berlin since 2007.

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