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Timothée Demeillers

I write to set down things that are difficult to express out loud, without thinking of publishing them.

A traveller passionate about Europe, Timothée Demeillers has established himself as a trailblazing voice in contemporary literature by describing lives stifled by the sinuosity of daily life. His third book, Demain la brume, will be published with Asphalte in September.

Published on 25/08/2020

2 min

Born in Angers in 1984, Timothée Demeillers studied political science in Lille before continuing in Prague as part of the Erasmus programme. His passion for the history of Central Europe lead him to carry out research on the Romani populations in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He then became a tourist guide and started setting off on long journeys across Eastern Europe, before settling between Paris and London, as a journalist, and to write tourist guides as well.

He published his first novel, Prague, faubourgs Est, with Asphalte in 2014. However it wasn't until Jusqu'à la bête in 2017 that he came to the attention of a wider audience. To be published in September 2020, his third novel, Demain la brume, shows an ensemble portrait of French and Croat young people in the 1990s before the war started.

Since his beginnings, Timothée Demeillers has cultivated a striking style giving prominence to urban and cosmopolitan literature. His first book, Prague, faubourgs Est, portrays Czech and American characters and establishes itself as a story of disillusion by giving a voice to non-conformists. Marked by his own experience and several years in the Czech Republic, he tells the tale of the changes to a city and its gradual progression towards a market economy.

Timothée Demeillers is always inspired by his experiences, and in 2017 he ventured into the enclosed world of abattoirs with Jusqu'à la bête by showing the dehumanisation of a working environment submitted to repetitive movements. Having done the same work as his central character for a summer, he extracts what he observes about the downward spiral of consumption in a lively and sharp text. Interspersed with short and biting sentences, the novel decides to dissect time and space to better express the economic divide and terrifying wear of routine.

The author loves travelling, and is fascinated by Eastern Europe, using his travels as the background of his novels or films, as in 2018 he also started film-making with Grégoire Osoha, with Kosovo, troubles identitaires, a documentary that follows three young people searching for their identity.

It was also in 2018 that Timothée Demeillers spent a month in Croatia and Serbia looking into the story of Jean-Michel Nicollier, a young Frenchman involved in the civil war in Vukovar in the middle of the 1990s. This trip, sprinkled with interviews, writing and rewriting, provided fodder for his next book, Demain la brume to be published in September 2020, where he gives a more general account of how a society toppled into conflict.

  • 2014

    2014

    Timothée Demeillers published his first novel, Prague, faubourgs Est.

  • 2017

    2017

    His second novel, Jusqu'à la bête, won the Prix des Jeunes Romanciers Le Touquet-Paris Plage award with honours from the jury and public.

  • 2018

    2018

    For Jusqu'à la bête, the writer was awarded the Prix du roman Cezam award, which highlights a novel selected by a jury of 3,500 readers.

  • 2020

    2020

    Publication of Demain la brume, his third book.

The Institut français and the artist

In 2018, Timothée Demeillers is a laureate of the Institut français Stendhal programme, allowing him to benefit from a writing scholarship to go to Serbia and Croatia.

 

The Stendhal programme allows french authors or authors living in France to travel to a foreign country and work on a writing project related to that country.

Learn more about the Stendhal programme

L'institut français, LAB