By Valentine Goby
« Vingt-sept ans d'absence. Vingt-sept anniversaires qui ont pris le dessus, année après année, sur le jour de naissance : ils n'ont plus compté l'âge écoulé de Sarah mais mesuré l'attente. »
En 1982, Sarah a quitté l. a. France pour Uummannaq au Groenland. Elle est montée dans un avion qui l'emportait vers los angeles calotte glaciaire. Sa famille ne l'a jamais revue. Elle a disparu, corps et âme. Elle avait vingt-deux ans. Lisa, vingt-sept ans plus tard, half sur les strains de sa soeur. Elle découvre un territoire dévasté et une inhabitants qui voit se réduire comme peau de chagrin son domaine de glace.
Valentine Goby, l'auteur de Qui touche à mon corps je le tue et Des corps en silence, nous emporte sur ces terres qui s'effacent dans un grand livre sur le désenchantement du monde.
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I rapidly lost three quarters of my white blood cells and became frighteningly ill. The doctor put me in his clinic; he thought I was dying. But after two days of a peculiar struggle, I pulled through and he quickly took me home again, where my absence had gone unnoticed. I will add just a few more words: I promised the doctor I would be silent and I am holding to that 47 silence, by and large. He swore that what he had done was done on purpose, and was not the result of a blunder, and he gave me the reasons for it.
Enjoyed anything that allowed her to leave her work. So the two of us were on the steps in the middle of an enormous crowd, the kind of crowd that is urgent and unwieldly, sometimes as motionless as the earth, sometimes rushing down like a torrent. For quite some time I had been talking to her in her mother tongue, which I found all the more moving since I knew very few words of it. As for her, she never actually spoke it, at least not with me, and yet if I began to falter, to string together awkward expressions, to form impossible idioms, she would listen to them with a kind of gaiety, and youth, and in turn would answer me in French, but in a different French from her own, more childish and talkative, as though her speech had become irresponsible, like mine, using an unknown language.
I suppose that was because she was wearing a beautiful dressing-gown. Even though it was nearly midnight, she was sitting in her armchair looking perfectly neat and presentable. That fact must have made everything else pleasant for her. Since she seemed quite pretty to me that day, I too thought my error meant something, and I did not tell her I had come in by mistake. Later on, she annoyed me very much. She was always wanting to come into my room and I did not want that. But she taught me something that I would not perhaps have discovered until much later if it had not been for her.