Foreign rights : Lost in the Hospital by Riwoal
published in March 2007
- first novel -
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What the press has to say :
"Riwoal produces a bitingly funny, anxious first novel."
"The work is a very tough narrative, but tinged with humor."
"A bitingly funny first novel, midway between humour and derision, between jubilation and despair."
Backcover text :
At that time, I was reading Harry Potter but I was having adult thoughts. They put me in blue pyjamas to keep me from doing anything and I'll readily admit that I looked like a fool. You thought twice before calling attention to your cadaver.
I'd been to see the head-nurse to explain to her that, whenever I wanted to be done with it all, I'd come and slit my throat in front of her so that she could take note of the fact, in near experimental conditions, that blue and death go well together. That turned her cold; thirty minutes later they'd put me back in my own clothes.
But it was too late. I'd already put on their damn costume and I didn't have the kind of optimism needed to be changing myself twice a day. That night, I discovered that it was much more comfortable to live by day in pyjamas than to sleep by night in jeans. In time, I started to really like the pyjamas and in this way my life dragged on in blue.
I even kept them after the hospital. I had a feeling they would be a tuxedo for life so, figuring I might as well be consistent, I hid them in the bottom of my bag on the day of my release. In normal times I wouldn't have had the right, but it had been a long time since I'd been evicted from normal times. Actually that was my big regret in life.
If the psychiatric world claims more than others the need for speech, it is often only in the perspective of tracking the symptom. But isn’t there a kind of rationality to hopelessness?
This novel, in its own funny way, gives a reason to talk about this bizarre illness which consists of being human.
A patient at Sainte-Anne Psychiatric Hospital, Mr. Riwoal is a caustic invalid, conscious of the limitations of the institution. He plays along with a laziness at times joyous, at times lugubrious and sometimes both at once. With one foot in the grave and the other in humor, it would seem that only the sum total of reasoned talk about insanity can restore the absurdity and pain of being, be it in confinement or not.
Riwoal was born in 1978 in Morlaix, France. After studying literature, he turned towards journalism and writing. Lost in the Hospital is his first novel.