"England and English" by Graham Swift

The English writer draws a new portrait of his country and fellow countrymen. With a clear style and closer to the human and territorial truth of England.

• From England and English, by Graham Swift, translated by Marie-Odile Fortier-Masek, Gallimard, 336 p., 21 €

From Graham Swift, an essential writer, we knew the long novels that held themselves to small destinations to follow their path to their moment of truth. And the ability to put his characters on an exciting map of England in his pen.

The land of the waters, his first novel appeared in Fenland in 1983, a flat land covered with canals in the east of the country. Ever After, on the cliffs of Dorset. The last tour, through the garden of England to the seaside town of Margate. I wish you were here, between the Isle of Wight and Devon. Mother's Day Sunday, in the Berkshire green in the spring.

"Mother & # 39; s Sunday" by Graham Swift: a prosaic English

This latest novel, released in 2016, shorter than the previous one, pointed to his temptation to go to a romantic epic. Already author of a first collection of short stories (The seraglio), it comes back today in this tight, demanding and often frustrating format (for the reader anyway!). News, he wrote 25 for it From England and English, clear in everyday situations, but never banal.

English anonymous or famous …

Two friends meet for the funeral of the director of their high school ten years after his departure. " With the sole purpose of seeing who would be and how they would all look, " they especially want to see Karen, once the most beautiful girl in high school, where they fell in love with … A Coast Guard from Exmoor helps a black actor from Leeds (Yorkshire), whose car paid the ditch after he was a crawling deer on a country road wanted to avoid.

An old military doctor who treated King Charles I, who was executed in 1649, wrote to his nephew who chose Cromwell's camp. A couple goes to the wedding of their former friend who practiced with the man athletics and was the lover of the woman. A widower falls in love with a young woman and hears the voice of his deceased wife when he is with her. A woman loses her husband on the day of the death of Peter O & # 39; Toole.

A doctor of Indian descent tells the story of his father who chose the British camp during independence. A Moldovan housekeeper helps a neighbor who has lost his keys. A hairdresser avoids adhering to the confidentiality of his clients. A never dizzying backwash helps build the high towers of the City of London and looks at them anxiously one morning in 2008. Two young deceptive embryologists are responsible for sorting semen in a sperm bank …

The deceptive calm of the English countryside

The sensuality of English climates

Times, mixing of signs can lead to dizziness. But the sharp art of Graham Swift's story gives each of these stories, better if one day after another was tasted unhurried, a color and a pure tone.

His stubborn refusal of the swagger, his talent for theunderstatement (virtue English!) leads directly to the truth with an empathy that excludes neither humor nor cruelty. Close to characters so real, so close, they come to life before our eyes. Always inscribed in the territorial reality of an England whose sensuality we feel the elements: the wind that makes the skirt of a cyclist fly; the rain that drums on the windows of a car; the drizzle on the road; the storm on the sea; the green grass sparkling in the sun of a garden where chirping birds.

Graham Swift examines the English psyche, and beyond, examines the human soul. With a clear style and few words, this British king of letters knows how to taste happiness. A rare talent that highlights the most chiseled news of this collection, to remember. The story of a young, barely married couple who, while doing his or her will, will experience a perfect day, full of happiness, a moment of eternity.

Nathalie Lacube