In his new novel, Jenny Sauro, the writer, painter and filmmaker Marc Séguin recounts the life and disappearance of a young waitress living in a small village built on the border. When Jenny disappears while saving her son from drowning, it is dismay. Everyone knew Jenny. Marc Séguin brings it to life again, with a magnificent, precise, bewitching, rich pen, full of emotions.
In North Station, a small border town, everyone knows Jenny Sauro, the waitress of the only restaurant in the village. When she disappears while saving her son from drowning, the inhabitants are in shock.
Marc Séguin takes stock of Jenny’s life in this novel, as we would take stock of significant gestures and various moments, telling Jenny from several points of view. Her father, her son, the father of the child, the customers of the restaurant, the people in transit: everyone is talking about this beautiful and courageous woman, her dreams and her disappointments.
“This is the first time I have left the” I “. I wanted to write a story to the “I” that is not self-fiction and that doesn’t flirt with that either. I have the impression that we need to be told stories and that it feels good, “comments Marc Séguin, in an interview.
“I needed to write a story, to invent it. Obviously, it started with a news story, someone who died drowned in a lake. I wanted to talk about home too: talk about our territory, talk about winter, talk about the North, snow, the cycle of the seasons, but let it be in the third person, like a narrator. “
The strength of women
He wanted the main character of his novel to be a woman. “It allowed me to make him say things, through a guy filter, and observe. Jenny has a lot of resilience. She is also resigned, sometimes, but she accepts her life. I see it in women, and I wanted to talk about this strength and some loneliness. “
Marc Séguin notes the instinctive side of his writing, which resembles his work as an artist painter. “It looks a lot like when I paint: at some point, when it takes red, it takes red …”, he gives as an example.
“Jenny, I made her friends. She questions herself about death, about presentiments, about what we think, about what we know about our future. These are concerns that are part of my life. ”
His novel is extremely introspective. “I never hesitated for Jenny to be a middle-aged woman who has questions about life. It was important that I get a woman to speak in 2020. Someone who chooses a life that is possible. ”
The writer says that Jenny is a collage of three women he knows … and a fourth he invented. “Once you understand how your character is, she starts to think for herself, to have a certain autonomy.” These women who inspired him are women he trusts immensely in life. “They are free. They are instinctive. There is something there. “
His Jenny is a waitress in a small village restaurant. But his personality traits can apply to many people. “I think that the freedom, the savagery or the lucidity of Jenny can be in all social classes.”
Jenny Sauro, Marc Séguin. Leméac editions, 280 pages.
- Renowned painter, Marc Séguin also made a film (Stealing Alice, 2016) and a documentary (The farm and its states, 2017).
- He has published remarkable books, including The Poacher’s Faith, Hollywood, North Alice, Repentance.
- His work as an author has earned him a finalist in numerous literary prizes and won the Prix littéraire des collégiens.
“Jenny had called her father in North three days later: she preferred to be alone for a while and to grieve without help. She had just turned twelve a few weeks ago. “Dad, mom won’t come back this time,” she said, confident. Her mother had gone to Montreal with a man she barely knew. Jenny had therefore returned to live with her father. She would not hear from her mother until after thirteen years of silence. “
- Marc Séguin, Jenny Sauro, Éditions Leméac