Focus on non-fiction: Joy Sorman, a mad desire to write the world

Audio 29:00

Writer Joy Sorman in studio at RFI (February 2021).

© Catherine Fruchon-Toussaint / RFI

By: Catherine Fruchon-Toussaint

31 min

Joy Sorman was born in 1973. She first devoted herself to teaching philosophy before moving towards writing.

In 2005, his first novel appeared, “

Boys, boys, boys

”, winner of the Flore Prize.

In 2013, she received the François-Mauriac prize from the Académie française for “

Comme une bête


In 2014, “

La Peau de l'ours

” was selected in the Goncourt prize list.

À la folie

” (Flammarion 2021) is his fourteenth book.



“That day I understood what was troubling me. Perhaps less the spectacle of pain, unreason, destitution, than this struggle which never ends, after a year like twenty, despite the treatments that erode the will and the sense of defeat, it never dies, it is life that insists, which we never come to the end despite the isolation room and high-dose injections. All refuse, contest, challenge, no madness keeps them away from this momentum. "

For a whole year, Joy Sorman went to pavilion 4B of a psychiatric hospital and there heard the words of those who are said to be insane and their caregivers.

Of these men and women with damaged lives, the author has made a book in which Franck, Maria, Catherine, Youcef, Barnabé and Robert are the unforgettable characters.


is the romance of their locked life.

(Presentation of

Flammarion editions


Cover of Joy Sorman's new book © Flammarion


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