Elena Piacentini: “Literature is not instantaneous, but long

– I grew up in the small village of Tallone. Then, I did my schooling from the sixth to the final year in Corte. Once I got my baccalaureate, at 16 and a half, I went to Nice to do a preparatory school for the Grandes Ecoles and I stayed there for two years. Then I went to business school in Rouen. Afterwards, I started working for two years in Paris, then in Lille, where I settled.

– And how did you get into writing?
– I have always written. My mother told me that when I was little I watched the children coming out of school and I was in a hurry to go there so that I could write. I loved the stories people told me and I read a lot. I arrived at writing by reading and by the desire to write little bits of stories. I read a lot of thrillers at the time which fed my imagination like…Arsène Lupin or The Count of Monte-Cristo, which is also a kind of thriller, a story of revenge with suspense…

– Since 2008, the year your first book came out, you have written a series of crime novels. Can we say that the thriller is your favorite literary genre?
– I find that thrillers say a lot about the countries in which they are set. We learn more about an era through a detective novel, thriller or thriller in general because we deal with more sensitive subjects.
In 2008, I therefore wrote my first novel which had as its protagonist a Corsican cop who was appointed to Lille to whom I “lent” my grandmother who was therefore not a fictional character because she was mine.

– From this first title, Corsica often comes back in your intrigues…

– Yes, the stories take place in the north of France, but Corsica is there, through my character and in particular through her grandmother, who was mine, and the people who knew her find her in my books with his little sayings, stories and nursery rhymes.
So the link with Corsica is there, in certain scenes, but it is also in my character’s genealogy. He becomes a cop in opposition to his father who was part of the disreputable networks of what was called Corsica Africa. When I started writing I didn’t feel ready to write a novel that takes place entirely in Corsica for fear of falling into clichés, caricatures or stereotypes…

– After seven opuses of Pierre-Arsène’s investigations Leoniyou hashave you changed from character and gender
– .Yes, in my journey he had other goals literary. In 2017 I wrote an diptych at rivere which deals with how we can free ourselves from family secrets, how we can get out of the pattern that has been planned for us and take control of our destiny.

Do’there are biographical elements in your novels ?
– There is no’elements biographies in my novels apart from my Grandmother in the commissioner’s stories Leoni. HASnear what there has of me in my novels it’s what touches me, what I’m sensitive to, the experiences and encounters I have. Writers are a bit like vampires, they feed what is around them, what people say, what they read

– After several thrillersin 2022 came out “Les Silences d’Ogliano“, a superb novel in white literature, which won the 2022 prize of the closerie des Lilac, chaired by Laura Adler…
– In this book released by Actes Sud, we follow the quest of the young Libero Solimane moving forward in life, between clan wars, the search for identity and the transition to adulthood. If the village ofOgliano fed on my childhood, the plot can be develop in Corsica, Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria, Puglia. It’s an imaginary place south where small closed communities live with secrets that bind them and have to make choices in front of the domination of some families compared to the poverty of others. `

– Readers of CNI named you personality of the year. thatwould you like say to all those who voted for you?
– I thank them. I am very touched by the mobilization of friends, relatives, but above all readers, because there are regular readers who have really followed me since the beginning, for fourteen years, who have always encouraged, because it is not always easy to persevere in writing. It’s still an obstacle course. And so, in this obstacle course, when you have enthusiastic feedback, people who encourage you, it feels good, vshas supportyou and so really it’s wonderful. So thank you because I finally owe this designation to my readers.

– What is the place of literature in Corsican society?
– There are really a lot of initiatives in relation to literature in Corsica. Literature exists on the island, it is supported by people who organize meetings, who run readers’ clubs. And I am thinking of one person in particular who is Françoise Ducret and who has Corsican authors tour the continent, but who also brings authors from outside to small villages on the island or to libraries months centers to meet the island public.
Literature in Corsica is in good health, the soil is rich. This year, for example, a new Omara publishing house and a review, Litteratura, were created and that is very positive.

– Why, in your opinion, is there such a wealth of literature in Corsica?
– I think that where there are a lot of authors, as is the case in Corsica, there are also a lot of questions and people who want to get hold of things. Our Isle does not have a simple story, it is crossed by full ofcontradictions, she has a lot of aspirations and literature feeds on that…there no literature in places where nothing happens. Literature exists because thatshe tells things that are not easy to say and that people don’t always want to hear. Even though we does not agree with what is said in a novelthe latter brings at least one voicelighting and it provokes reflection. For me, literature is the exact opposite of the era we are going through, which is an era of the instantaneous, of ready-made opinion, without shade and cartoonish. Eshe does not register in the moment, but in the durea… a book and did has noe expiration date. Literature brings us all the nuances that we lack in today’s society. While we live in an era immersed in action, literature brings us reflection.

– What are your projects ?
– I have plans to write another novel. But it’s taking me more and more time. Because for a year, we are withdrawn. In another space-time. And then because documentation is needed and I need to be a be completely in, so I can’t give a date, but yes, yes, of course, and I have a good project in the works.

Elena Piacentini: “Literature is not instantaneous, but long-lasting”