Miraculous Amélie Nothomb: this severe anorexia that almost killed her

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This Thursday, August 13, 2020, Amélie Nothomb gave a cross interview to Gala, with Daniel Picouly. The two writers shared how writing and reading could help them find a purpose for living. “It came close to me turning out very badly. Literature saved me. It's miraculous for me to get out of it and it's only thanks to the books. Today, we want to say to others: 'You too can get by with novels' ”, declares the author of Stupor and Tremor, Hygiene of the murderer or even Blue Beard.

The 54-year-old novelist explains that she was "A teenager with very big problems", who was able to find his second breath thanks to the "Classical literature". "My father, great reader [namely Patrick Nothomb former diplomat died in March 2020, Editor's note], had all the classics. I started to tap into it very early on ”, continues Amélie Nothomb, before revealing how her adolescence was "Disturbed", especially because she plunged into a "Severe anorexia which almost killed her". “I had a feeling of nothingness. It was reading the classics that allowed me to reconnect with reality ”, continues Fabienne Claire Nothomb, whose real name is her, who hopes that other young people will also succeed in clinging to life through reading. “I meet a lot of teenagers who ask me for reading advice (…) Some, at school, do not receive any reading instructions. And sometimes they are even advised not to read an entire book so as not to discourage them! What interest ? The more difficult the book, the more they like ”, considers the writer, who does not understand the renunciation of certain professors of letters to teach classical literature to their students.

Books destined to pass from generation to generation?

“It seems to me to be clearly a mistake and even contemptuous. It means: 'We were smarter, we could read those books.' What is fascinating is precisely to have the same books read by successive generations. The greatness of the classic is what it has to say to each generation. We all need to be pulled up ", assures Amélie Nothomb to our colleagues.

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