David Fauquemberg, 2015 [fr]
Randell Cottage, a writers residency for French and New Zealand authors situated in Wellington, welcomed French writer David Fauquemberg in January 2015. He was selected by a panel comprised of representatives from the Embassy, the Randell Cottage Trust, Victoria University, the Alliance française and the National Library of New Zealand.
Born in 1973, David Fauquemberg lives in the Cotentin area of Normandy. A novelist, he has published work in magazines such as XXI, Géo and Long Cours. He is also a translator (of Nadine Gordimer, R. L. Stevenson, James Meek, Willy Vlautin). While studying literature he travelled intermittently to faraway places such as Patagonia and Lapland, and sailed across the Atlantic. He taught philosophy for a few months, before hitting the road again. He spent two years in Australia, the inspiration for his first novel, Nullarbor (Hoëbeke, 2007), winner of the Nicolas Bouvier Prize for travel writing. Mal tiempo (Fayard, 2009), which has a boxing theme and is set in Cuba, was awarded the Millepages Prize, the Prix des Hebdos en Région Prize and the City of Caen Prize. His most recent novel Manuel el Négro, published by Fayard in 2013, is the result of a long stay in the world of Andalucia’s flamenco gypsies.
David Fauquemberg was at the Randell Cottage from mid-January to mid-June 2015. During his stay, he was invited to present a series of literary meetings around his work in the principal cities of the country. (see below)
Photo copyright: Christine Tamalet
On Monday the 26th of January, David Fauquemberg, the 2015 French writer in residence of the Randell Cottage, spoke with Upbeat’s Eva Radich about his career and the many interesting places it has taken him.
On Wednesday the 4th of February a reception was held at the residence of France to officially welcome the Randell Cottage’s 2015 French writer-in-residence, David Fauquemberg.
Deputy Head of Mission Mrs Agnès Hamilton, and Cultural and Scientific Counsellor Mr Raynald Belay delivered words of welcome to David, wishing him the very best for his six months in residency at Randell Cottage. Mr Belay recounted some of David’s extraordinary experiences as a writer, that has included a two year period living in Australia which inspired his book ‘Nullarbor’ and an extended period of time living in Andalucía, Spain, for an immersion experience in the lives of the gypsies and their flamenco culture.
Board member of the New Zealand France Friendship Fund and former Ambassador of New Zealand to France Sarah Dennis also expressed her delight that David had been selected, and thanked both those who had contributed to the selection process, and those who assist with the practicalities of the Randell Cottage.
Having arrived only a few weeks previously, David explained that he was still discovering much about Wellington, but that so far he had been pleasantly surprised with the beautiful weather. He did not reveal his plans for the piece on which he will be working during his tenure as writer-in-residence, but is looking forward to absorbing the culture of New Zealand as he travels around the country and makes the most of his time at the Randell Cottage.
Attended by friends of the Randell Cottage, members of its trust and board, representatives of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and renowned New Zealand writers, the evening was also an opportunity for invitees to meet and exchange with David.
As part of his residency, David took part in a tour of several Alliance Française centres around New Zealand, giving students and members the opportunity to meet with him and to hear about his career as a writer.
Following a successful tour of several New Zealand cities, prize-winning French author David Fauquemberg embarked on the final leg of his literary tour, with events planned for Wellington, Palmerston North and Hawke’s Bay, including a special event at the National Library of New Zealand.
On the 13th of May, David was the focus of an evening at the National Library, leading a conversation about his writing, his travels, and the impressions and insights he has gained so far from his time in New Zealand and the wide range of Kiwis he has met.
Following the interview, the audience had the opportunity to ask David questions about his experiences.
Held under the auspices of the Friends of the Randell Cottage, The Randell Cottage Writers Trust and the National Library, this event was held in the lower-ground seminar rooms at the National Library.
Since March 2015, David participated in a series of conferences and literary talks at art galleries, universities and Alliance Française institutions across New Zealand. Meeting with French students, francophiles and the greater public, David enjoyed discussing his path to becoming a writer as well the adventurous experiences he has encountered whilst researching for his novels. As part of David’s six month residency, this tour provided a fantastic opportunity for attendees to pose David questions about his works and career.
David took part in a talk on Travel Literature and Creative Writing at the Alliance Française Wellington on the 8th of May. The talk was hosted by Damien Wilkins, Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University and former writer in residence in Menton. The two writers compared the process of creative writing in France and New Zealand.
David then travelled to Palmerston North to meet with Alliance Française students and participating in two public events. On Thursday the 14th of May he participated in a Literary Discussion on travel and writing at Massey University. His final public engagement of this nationwide tour was a cocktail event followed by a literary conference on Friday the 15th of May at Palmerston North City Library.
David also took part in a one off event in Hawke’s Bay, in partnership with the Hawke’s Bay French Association and Hastings District Libraries. On Saturday the 16th of May, “Franco Flamenco” included guitar solos and interviews, as well as a question & answer session.
The Randell Cottage Writers’ Fellowship was established in 2001 as a rotational residency for French and New Zealand writers. David Fauquemberg was welcomed to the Cottage in January 2015 after being selected by a panel comprised of representatives from the Embassy, the Randell Cottage Trust, Victoria University, the Alliance française and the National Library of New Zealand. This writing grant is aimed at authors of French nationality, whose work has already been published and who are able to express themselves in English.
For more information about David Fauquemberg, please visit his website: davidfauquemberg.com