With Serge, the French woman of letters Yasmina Reza signs a bittersweet family comedy that is definitely worth it.
After Babylon, who won the Renaudot Prize in 2016, the French playwright and novelist Yasmina Reza offers us Serge, another novel that will surely not go unnoticed in the coming months. Because in addition to being brilliantly led, it does not lack humor – sometimes downright black! – nor very scathing aftershocks.
So welcome to the Popper family, a non-practicing Jewish family from Vienna, some of whose members were once deported. It is Jean, the “middle boy”, who will improvise himself as a narrator, and thanks to him, we will not be long in getting to know his brother Serge better, his sister Anne (whom everyone calls Nana), or his niece Joséphine, who decided to visit Auschwitz soon.
A curious pilgrimage
Admittedly, there are activities that are much nicer than others. And a visit to the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp is certainly not among the number. But too bad, almost all the Popper will still decide to join Joséphine, just to be able to set foot on the tomb of their ancestors.
The time to organize everything and off they go for Poland. But as you might expect, the trip will quickly take a completely surreal turn. For example, no matter how terrible that may have happened within the walls of Auschwitz, that won’t stop the Popper from yelling at each other or behaving like the last of the tourists. With the result of making us smile, grimace or downright think.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my [email protected] 1-800-268-7116