Conversation with prolific Belgian author Amélie Nothomb at her home, in Brussels.
Amelie Nothomb was born in Japan in 1967. Daughter of the Belgian ambassador, she then lived in China, southeast Asia and the United States before moving to Belgium at 17 years old. At 25 years old she published her first novel, Hygiène de l'assassin, which immediately met with success. Since then she has published no less than 16 novels, one a year.
Her writing, largely autobiographical (Le Sabotage Amoureux in 1993,Stupeurs et tremblements in 2004, Ni d'Eve ni d'Adam in 2007), often talks of her experience in Japan that she considers as the foundation of her personality, from her visceral attachment to the country. Others were, on the contrary, purely fictional and rather fantastic: Les Catilinaires in 1995, Peplum in 1996, Journal d'Hirondelle in 2006.
The author was also appreciated for her eccentricity, not hesitating to appear on TV wearing extravagant hats or outrageous makeup. Two of her novels were adapted for the cinema, Hygiène de l'assassin in 1999 and Stupeurs et tremblements in 2003 (a role for which Sylvie Testud received a César for Best Actress).