Lalalangue. Everybody Take Some and Eat It All Up
Original title: Lalalangue. Prenez et mangez-en tous.
It all starts with the myth.
A pregnant young woman climbs the Calanques in Marseille with the man she loves. The mountains are her whole life. But a boulder crumbles and her lover drags her down with him. The young woman falls into a coma. When she wakes up and learns she has lost her twins and one of her legs, all she has to say is, “I’ll take it out on the children.” This woman, the author’s mother, kept her promise.
Frédérique is the youngest of seven siblings. She spent her childhood struggling with shame, mysticism, fear, and dread.
Her one-legged mother’s prostheses. Chopin’s Nocturnes played by her ghostly father. The drunk, homeless friends in the living room and an obsessive need to salvage and reuse things to minimize waste. Pleasure was off limits if you hoped to gain access to a hypothetical heaven. And Jesus Christ. A cheapskate voyeur who kept an eye on her through it all. The beliefs and expressions brought to life by a family, and the devastating madness of a mother.
But there was laughter, too, and a quest for a gaze that would upend beliefs she believed were eternal: on the stage of a theater or a psychoanalyst’s couch, words are a weapon for healing.
Without a hint of complacency and with a hefty dose of ferocious humor, Frédérique Voruz takes a close look at her family and herself. With this first book she delivers a chilling account of what it’s like to be a child in hostile territory. It’s a cruel fairy tale where the ogre is actually an ogress, an extraordinary story of survival.
- Drawings by the author included throughout the book
- Playing November 8-27 at the Théâtre du Rond-Point with stage direction by Simon Abkarian, who wrote the book’s preface