Fiction. Literary Nonfiction. Inspired by the closing of three Daewoo factories in the Lorraine region of France in 2002, François Bon's novel DAEWOO intertwines journalism, fiction and theater, to explore what actually happens in the lives of working people when they are abruptly stripped of their livelihood and, consequently, their sense of security, purpose, and dignity. In the early 2000s, Bon traveled to the Lorraine intending to do research for a play about the changed lives of the hundreds of suddenly unemployed workers, mostly women, who had assembled microwaves and television sets in the Daewoo factories. But when he arrived he discovered that research was not sufficient, that reportage could not achieve the kind of vigilant witness to events that he sought. To pay homage to truth, he needed fiction; and so DAEWOO was born—a novel combining elements of theater, fictional narrative, journalistic research, and imagined interviews, that together testify to the real damage done to people caught in the multi-national economic squeeze, discarded and forgotten like the buildings they once worked in and maintained.
François Bon is a prolific and inventive writer and activist who has surprisingly not yet been translated into English, despite the fact that he has already been translated into numerous other languages. In 1982, he published his first novel, Sortie d'usine, with the prestigious Éditions de Minuit, to critical accolades, including the Rome Prize. He has since written dozens of novels, plays, documentary films, biographies, and autobiographies, including, most recently, Après le livre (Seuil, 2011) and Autobiographie des objets (Seuil, 2012). In 1998, Bon created Le Tiers Livre, part archive, part blog, part publishing house, part repository of pedagogical materials. Le Tiers Livre serves as an active platform for Bon's experimentations in digital publishing, literary genres, and social activism.Author City: PARIS FRA