À son image (In Her Own Image) by Jérôme Ferrari
A French writer with a particular interest in Corsica, Jérôme Ferrari has confirmed, several years after winning the Goncourt Prize, his talent for revisiting contemporary history. À son image recounts, like a eulogy, the life of a photojournalist who has gone to the former Yugoslavia to document the conflict.
Words to tell the world
Jerome Ferrari travels with his books and his language. A translator, Jérôme Ferrari had close ties to Corsica through his parents and studied philosophy and ethnology. His life as a writer began in 2001 with the publication of a collection of short stories, Variétés de la mort (Varieties of Death), and a novel, Aleph Zéro (Aleph Zero, 2003).
Noted for Un dieu un animal (A God, An Animal), a novel that echoes a contemporary world left bewildered after 11 September 2001, Jérôme Ferrari won the Goncourt Prize in 2012 with Le Sermon sur la chute du Rome (The Sermon on the Fall of Rome).
On the photograph
Encompassing his favourite themes (Corsica, violence, death and its representations etc.), À son image, published in 2018 and crowned with the Le Monde Literary Prize, confirms Jérôme Ferrari as a leading novelist.
À son image begins at the port of Calvi, when by chance Antonia meets a legionnaire she knew in 1991 during the war in the former Yugoslavia. She was a photographer-reporter at the time, immersed in the conflict. After hours of passionate conversation during the chance encounter, Antonia dies on her journey.
Her death raises the question of her portrait. What "images" to keep of a photographer who has had so many close encounters with death? How can we tell the story of those who, in their lifetime, prefer to be witnesses?
Behind the romance...
Jérôme Ferrari is a fan of images, particularly appreciating family photos and photo-reportage. À son image appears within his body of work as extension in novel form of the book co-written with Oliver Rohe À fendre le cœur le plus dur (To Break The Hardest of Hearts).
Published by Inculte in 2015, the book focuses on the work of Gaston Chérau, a writer and war correspondent who set out to cover the Italian-Ottoman conflict in Libya in 1911 and 1912. According to the author, this figure served as inspiration for his character Antonia.
A universal author
Jérôme Ferrari is a globetrotter, his teaching career having led him to teach at international high schools in Algiers and Abu Dhabi.
The Corsican roots of his language and work has not stopped his books being translated into the languages of the main countries who import French literature: Germany, the United States, Italy and Spain etc.
Awarded the European Prize for Literature in the Netherlands in 2014, Le Sermon sur la chute de Rome remains to this day his main success abroad.
À son image, by Jérôme Ferrari, has been translated into Chinese and Serbian with the support of the Institut français in 2019.
Through its publication support programmes, the Institut français participates in the dissemination of French language humanities worldwide. Learn more about the publication assistance programmes