The child is five years old when his grandmother dies, and following this first experience of mourning, everything that preceded her death seems to have been erased from his memory. It is only much later, having survived a serious illness, that memories start to return.
One day, while reading the writings of Thérèse of Lisieux, a light is shone into the lost corners of his mind. Through a dialogue with the saint, the narrator gathers traces of the past, the buried emotions, suffering and unanswered questions that no one can appease, of the neglect in which he believes himself abandoned, and the of what is most intimate and human, and had been so brutally extinguished.
Though a non-believer, Patrick Autréaux reflects on the meaning of a vocation, whether mystical or literary, on our physical metamorphoses, on what our bodies undergo, and on the writer’s future, with the highly-tuned emotion and formal rigour which characterize his writing.
The Saint of the Family is first entry in a new writing cycle, titled Constat (Report).