Scenography on the square of the Olympe de Gouges Theater©PhilippeColinScenography on the square of the Olympe de Gouges Theater©PhilippeColin
©Scenography on the square of the Olympe de Gouges Theater©PhilippeColin|© Philippe Colin

Autumn Letters Festival

literary festival #32
In November, live to the rhythm of literature! For two weeks, the Lettres d’automne festival offers unique events: meetings with authors and artists, staged readings, shows, concerts, exhibitions, cinema, festival bookshop…

The theme

fictions and crossroads

For its 32nd edition, the festival has chosen to honor two emerging voices of French literature, those of Pierre Ducrozet and Alice Zeniter. Authors of novels, stories, theater texts, books for young people or chronicles, they both deploy singular artistic universes, but are driven by a common desire: to survey the territories of the narrative, to take the crossroads to reinvent the powers of fiction. This theme will be the common thread of the programming that will bring together nearly 80 authors and artists.

The guests of honor

Pierre Ducrozet has been traveling the world since he was 20. He weaves stories in perpetual motion that capture the impulses of our time and question our relationship to the world. He is the author of several novels including Requiem pour Lola rouge (Grasset, 2010, Prix de la Vocation 2011), Eroica (Grasset, 2015) biographical fiction around the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, L’invention des corps (Actes Sud, 2017) which earned him the Prix de Flore and Le grand vertige (Actes Sud, 2020). Pierre Ducrozet has also co-authored several books for young people about major contemporary issues and writes a column in Libération.

Some of his columns have been collected in a collection published by in 2020: Partir léger. In 2022, he published his sixth novel, also with Actes Sud: Variations de Paul.

Every era has its own specific literary forms that embody representations of the world. I believe that ours calls for open, intersecting, shifting narratives, in the image of a diffracted reality. These new narratives will perhaps allow us to better grasp it, or even to have a hold on it. There are many of us asking ourselves these questions, on all continents and in all artistic practices. ” Pierre Ducroze

Alice Zeniter dreamed of being a novelist at an early age, writing her first book at the age of 16. Six other novels followed, including Sombre dimanche (Prix du Livre Inter 2013) and L’Art de perdre, which has been a tremendous success and has been awarded numerous literary prizes (including the Goncourt des lycéens 2017).

Alice Zeniter also invested in the world of theater from the beginning of her career. She collaborated with several directors and created the theater company L’Entente Cordiale within which she mounted various shows. In 2020, she created her first one-woman show, which she later published with the title Je suis une fille sans histoire. As an extension of this reflection on the power of narratives, in 2022 she published Toute une moitié du monde (Flammarion).

I never understand things better, than when I am writing them, and writing gives me a laboratory of understanding. For me, literature is the place of time and doubt, not the place to deliver a message. But I also consider that one of the things that literature can do is to work on changing the way we look at things, to reconfigure representations, and to allow us to reappropriate the things around us in a different way.” Alice Zeniter

Pre-program (subject to change)

Meetings and round tables

Alice Zeniter, guest of honor, Pierre Ducrozet, guest of honor

andJakuta Alikavazovic, Éric Chevillard, Penda Diouf, Cloé Korman, David Lopez, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, Wilfried N’Sondé, Blandine Rinkel, Fanny Taillandier

and subject to reservationAlessandro PignocchiAnd the “rendez-vous des libraires” that highlight the catalog of singular publishers.

Children's literature

MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPSGilles Abier, Marie Colot, Cécile Gambini, Claire Garralon, Florence Hinckel, Jessie Magana, Édouard Manceau, Peggy Nille, Cécile Roumiguière, Benoît SéveracSandrine Thommen.

PLAYBACKS AND SPECTACLESIn the nest of the giants, show by Édouard Manceau (author), L’Arbre, puppet show by Cie Rouge les anges based on albums by S. Thommen and Dedieu; Sous le grand choka Lecture dessinée de et par Cécile Roumiguière et Cécile Gambini (autrices); Malbrough s’en va-t-en guerreSpectacle Cie Groenland Paradise; Le voyage d’Ulysse text by François-Henri Soulié, puppet show by Compagnie Le Théâtrophone; Prévert, ever musical show Querida Cie.

On stage: readings, concerts, shows

Musical readingChemins de traverseText and reading: Alice Zeniter and Pierre Ducrozet – Music: Maëva Le Berre

CircusLe chant du vertigeCompagnie Lapsus (show registered in the season of the Théâtre O de Gouges)

Only on stageI am a girl without a storyby and with : Alice Zeniter outside view: Matthieu Gary

concert readingVariations of Paulby and with Pierre Ducrozet Music: Rubin Steiner

Reading & circusThe Great Vertigowith Pierre Ducrozet, Analía Vincent, and Stéphane Fillion

TheaterThe Art of LosingText Alice Zeniter – Cie Ronde de nuit with Fatima Aïbout, Sabrina Kouroughli, Issam Rachyq-Ahrad

ReadingThe Invention of BodiesText Pierre Ducrozet. Adaptation: Nathalie Vidal (distribution in progress)

Circus (to be confirmed)Taking a turn on yourselfA lecture on somersaulting. By and about Matthieu Gary

Radio readingSombre dimancheText Alice Zeniter. Adaptation and reading: Mathieu Hornain, Sylvie Maury

The festival in brief

CREATION: In 1991 by Maurice Petit and the association Confluences

DURATION AND DATES: 15 days – November 14-27, 2022.

LOCATIONS: Montauban, Occitanie

A SINGULAR CONCEPT: Two weeks to show, hear and share a French-language literary work in the presence and with the participation of its author. The guest of honor chooses a theme as the common thread of the program and surrounds himself with many artists, writers, publishers, musicians, painters … whose work resonates with his own, or that he wishes to make the public discover.

ON THE PROGRAM: Meetings, staged readings, shows, literary concerts, exhibitions, workshops, festival bookstore, cinema, programming around children’s books for school and family audiences, bookstore Sunday, etc.

PREVIOUS EDITIONS: 2021 Mathias Énard, Mélodies & variations / 2020 Exceptional edition (cancelled): À la croisée des langues, littératures françaises d’ici et d’ailleurs / 2019 Anne-Marie Garat, Histoires, Images, Nuages / 2018 Christian Garcin, Les passerelles du temps / 2017 Laurent Mauvignier, Devenir(s) ….

FREQUENT ATTENDANCE 2021: 20,537 festival-goers (of which 4,602 were students)