Literary Escapes Sofitel

One upon a time… lhere was a story that began in 2008 and has kept reinventing itself ever since, fuelled by Sofitel’s resolve to pursue the development of the brand Cultural pillar. At the same time, there was the desire of Sofitel General Managers to invite writers to discover their destination just as they welcome guests throughout the world and inspire these authors to write.…

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BREL AND I

By Akli TADJER

Of Brussels, I have only experienced the wind-beaten platforms at the South Station and the emollient foyers of grand hotels where I spent the day talking about my novels to literary critics. I would leave for Paris in the evening, frustrated at not knowing anything about the Belgian capital. And, each time, while looking at the post cards on display at the Station’s newsstands, I would think that it would be good if, one day, a chance encounter had me visit the city. Yesterday, at dusk, I sat down on a bench at the end of the platform as I often do. A feminine voice escaped the speakers to announce that my train would be be delayed. How long? I don’t remember. The reason? I had already stopped listening. The winter wind blew in gusts. The cold bleared my eyes, I turned my coat collar up and closed my eyes. I was feeling more alone than ever, doubtlessly because, over…

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Back to the Beginning

By Akli TADJER

This is how it started. It was the wettest month of May I had ever known. Each day brought torrents of rain, wind, hail. To make matters worse, the forecast was for more of the same for days and days to come. Only windshield-wiper salesmen, umbrella merchants and snails were happy. My mother, who in April had still been sprightly when we had feted her 77th spring, had turned gloomy. She spent hours sitting on the couch, head down, arms crossed, staring at her feet. And she refused to say a word. We communicated only with unintelligible sounds, clearing our throats or making gestures and signs. She also had no appetite. In mid-afternoon, she would dip a piece of buttered bread in a cup of lukewarm tea and that would be it for the day. I had attributed her blues to the weight of the steely sky hanging so low that it blended into the gray zinc roofs of the…

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The Day I Got Old

By Benoîte GROULT

I have had a long, strange relationship with Germany. When my sister Flora and I were children, my father, André Groult, whom we called Pater because he was a Latin scholar, would traipse around our apartment on Sunday mornings in his white terry-cloth bathrobe, which he referred to nobly as a toga, reciting Latin verses or French poems or singing German lieder. «Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind? Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind.» (« Who rides so late through the night and wind? It’s the father with his child.») Helped by poetry and filial love, I was deeply moved by these harsh sounds. The musicality of Italian, a language similar to the Latin that I would later teach at the Cours Bossuet in the ’40s, seemed by comparison too pretty and somewhat flashy. The year when I obtained my baccalauréat, therefore, I decided to teach myself German. For the 1939 summer vacation, I bought an Assimil…

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News

This section provides cultural news link to the Sofitel Literary Escapes Program: event, novel, writer, literary café,…

Marrakech Literary Café

Last 11th October, Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa put the…

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Literary Prize Sofitel Algiers

Last October, Sofitel Algiers Hamma Garden was delighted to award…

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Brussels Literary Café

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Literary…

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