Original title: Figurante
- 2 Seas Represents: World Excl French.
- Selected for the Prix Première de la RTBF (Belgium)
“A book of subtle simplicity, a novel about the wisdom of accepting the modesty of your own desires, and finding the way to achieve them.”– Le Monde
A first novel that evokes the beauty of simple things and ordinary people. Reminiscent of Annie Ernaux’s novels, the sheer silhouettes in Patrick Modiano’s work, and the grace of Pascal Lainé’s La Dentellière (The Lace-maker), which brings to life a woman who thinks she is destined to stay in the background, rather than to have the starring role.
A young woman who works at a stodgy provincial hotel feels like life is passing her by. To cope with a father who doesn’t speak to her and bosses who disgust her, Louise seeks shelter in what she knows how to do: serve breakfast, clear tables, scrub rooms. The only thing that makes her feel the least bit alive are Marc’s caresses and the cigarette smoke that fills her lungs during her breaks.
Then one day, a film crew comes to the hotel, and something finally breaks up the monotony of her days. Like Pascal Lainé’s “Lace-maker”, the heroine of Extra is someone to whom nothing ever happens. Even her dreams are modest: she’d like to run her own bed & breakfast near the mimosa-covered hills. Instead, she’ll get caught up in a dream of glory that isn’t her own, turning her life upside down.
In his first novel, Dominique Pascaud has chosen to describe people who keep their noses to the grindstone and rarely lift their heads to look at the stars.