Finding novels set in Nantes is proving much more difficult than I thought. C S Forester’s Hornblower barely touches the ground in the city of Nantes. I need a narrative where the French urban space is almost a character itself. This morning, though, with Google and Amazon, I found these two novels by Paul Louis Rossi (b.1933 Nantes): Régine (1990) and a later one, La voyageuse immortelle (2001) and they are now on order. It is hard to judge whether they will create the elusive toureme for Nantes. As my readers on Audible will know, I’ve been addicted to Patrick Modiano since 2015, and these two novels by Rossi do have a faint hint that they might have a similar quest for a missing character that Modiano’s stories often recount.
If you know Rossi’s writing please post a comment, or, if you know of novels that unfold in the streets of Nantes then let me know their titles, please.
Paul Louis Rossi (1990) Régine
Paul Louis Rossi’s 1990 book, Régine has just arrived. It looks very hopeful. The very first paragraph speaks of a district, which I hope will be in Nantes, the quartier de Doulon. Do you know that area? There was stretch of water there, small enough to cross on foot, un gué, (say –gay-) in French. In Rossi’s story, he remembers that nettles used to grow there but now all the marshy ground is filled in.
A dozen pages later we learn of une impasse, a no through road, named Avenue de la Valtaiserie. Surely, that still exists today? Where is it?