Philippe Jaenada: “Alcohol nourishes my characters”

By Lucas Minisini

Posted today at 07h00

Writer Philippe Jaenada, in Paris, November 16, 2021.

At 57, Philippe Jaenada is now a “successful author”. After The Serpe (Julliard), for which he won the Femina award in 2017, he recently published In the spring of the monsters (Mialet-Barrault). Already several tens of thousands of copies sold and an endless promotional tour to present its 700 pages of investigation into the murder of Luc Taron, 11, in Paris in 1964 – the year of birth of the author. This is the opportunity to take up the recipe of his latest novels: the meticulous account of a great legal case embellished with personal anecdotes, in which Philippe Jaenada notably evokes his taste for wine, tasted in lounges and in restaurants, and the whiskey of the Oban brand.

A little more than three months after the release of your novel “Au Printemps des Monsters”, you are still on a promotional tour, with many signings in book fairs across France. How is this tour going?

I’m never home, I just had my mom on the phone, she’s worried. I haven’t spent a weekend in Paris since August 18th. I spend them in book fairs, on the right, on the left, in France, with lots of fellow authors. We let go of you in a city by paying you for everything – restaurants, bars, hotels. Normally, that means you come home on Sunday evening on all fours. But this year, I decided to be careful …

“If I have the choice between two lounges, I will choose the one where you eat really well and where you are served good wines in a beautiful hotel. “

I started with the salon in Cap-Ferret, then I went to that of Namur, in Belgium, and to Morges, in Switzerland, and I managed to be wise. Then there was the Nancy salon, at the very beginning of September. I ran into Frédéric Beigbeder, which should not be done in the living rooms, and I returned at 6 am, dead drunk. He took about ten people in a small box, 300 meters from my hotel. On leaving, at 5 o’clock, I left in the wrong direction. I walked for an hour …

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What do you drink in these salons?

What I like is the whiskey. Especially the Oban, which is about the best you can find in bars. But in the living rooms, we don’t drink a lot of whiskey. At the table, it’s wine. Well, not all of these events are created equal. If I have the choice between two lounges, in one you eat really well and that you are served good wines in a beautiful hotel, while in the other one gives you the piquette by saying to you: “We are here for literature, not here to eat”, I know what I’m going to choose! The first.

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