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What Comes Back to Us (Ce qui nous revient)

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Original Language: French | 272 pp. | January 2019

2 Seas Represents: English (USA & Canada), Dutch and Nordic rights.

FICTION

Louisa Gorki was ten when her mother kissed her and said ‘See you in three days’ time!’ – and she never came back. Only two months later did the girl learn from her father why Elena had left: she hadn’t gone off to work but rather to abort a Down syndrome child. After the procedure, she had felt incapable of returning. Fifteen years later, Louisa is studying for a PhD in medicine focusing on the identification of the extra copy of genes on chromosome 21. In the course of her studies she meets Marthe Gautier, a scientist who played a key role in discovering this trisomy but whose contribution has never been recognised.

Ce qui nous revient are the memories, that subtle arranging of elements of the past that sculpts every individual, but the title also contains a demand: the story of Marthe Gautier is an illustration of the ‘Matilda effect’, or the process of denying or minimising the contribution of female research scientists in the interests of their male colleagues.

Born in 1967, Corinne Royer divides her time between Saint- Étienne, Paris and Uzès. After running a marketing agency and making documentaries on the arts and environmental issues, she decided to devote herself to writing, contributing freelance articles to a number of magazines. This novel is her fourth, following on from M comme Mohican (Héloïse d’Ormesson, 2009), La Vie contrariée de Louise (Héloïse d’Ormesson, 2012, Prix Terre de France / La Montagne) and Et leurs baisers au loin les suivent (Actes Sud, 2016).