Edward Hopper’s famous painting “Nighthawks”, Philippe Besson inspired a novel. He does not interpret the image. He breathes each figure a life. Every night is Ben, bartender at Phillies, his guests’ disposal. He is aloof, reserved. He knows the fate of his regular customers.
At the bar sits Louise Cooper, conspicuously dressed in her red dress. She writes plays and waiting with a glass of martini on her lover Norman.
Instead, and unexpectedly enters Stephen Townsend bar. Five years ago he was last here.
At that time, Louise and Stephen were a couple. But then Stephen conclusion made and another woman married.
Late at night want the old Carter, a fisherman, still occupy a small drink. The image and its players are complete.
The sober writing style and the characteristics of the protagonists are a perfect fit for broadcasting the image.
Louise’s cold, untouchable, unfeeling and silent. You can contact the the casual, former lover motionless as roll off water at each other.
So the few dialogues are minimized.
While they sit with anteilnahmslos with their heads together, they can slide past her life.
In Hopper’s paintings directs the “woman in red dress” the gaze of the viewer up. Inevitably it must then also in the novel the main character be. As a psychologist diagnosed Besson Louise’s inner life: the intensity of her love for Stephen, the painful separation that she moved into the depths: first the depressive, melancholy, then escape into silence, finally life behind self-made walls, no feelings more pass through.
This is an ambitious book and Besson convinced by his literary achievement.