Patrick Sabatier is back… but not on the small screen. It is in the bookstore department that we find him, with his very first novel, “The letter” (Editions du Rocher).
A novel with keys, very largely autobiographical, which tells in parallel the destiny of Emma, a young Italian immigrant girl who arrives in France between the two wars; and that of Paul Saran, host-star of the TV of the 80s and fruit of the second marriage of Emma. Very quickly, we understand that Paul Saran is Patrick Sabatier (the initials are the same) and that Emma is his mother. A Mother Courage who will keep buried in her a terrible secret, which the host will only discover later, in the 2000s.
Be careful, if you don’t want to know more, don’t read on…
What was the trigger to write this book?
At first, that was not my intention at all. Especially since it’s not my job. But my wife told me that my life was a real novel and that I should write all that, it was so incredible. And it was the word “novel” that triggered my desire.
The book reveals a terrible family secret, revealed at the end. Without giving all the details, you learn at more than 50 years of the existence of a hidden brother, born after your mother’s first marriage!
Indeed. This is something that happens in thousands of families. What’s special is that it’s a letter that will suddenly reveal all that, which doesn’t happen often. And this letter, which is discovered following a death, is revenge. The circumstances of life mean that we are sometimes confronted with certain things that are brutal.
Has your brother read the novel?
Unfortunately no, he passed away.
Were you still able to enjoy family moments with him?
We are not going to hide the truth. It’s very difficult to find common ground and to say things to each other when we haven’t seen each other for more than 50 years. We are both linked and at the same time, we have very different trajectories. And we never make up for lost time.
Can we say that it was a painful secret?
For my parents, yes. It was extremely painful. They are the ones who lived with it. Me, he didn’t imprison me.
Find our entire interview in the Ciné-Télé-Revue which comes out this Thursday, September 15, where he mentions in particular why his mother had never revealed this story to him.