“The flowers of the shadow” by Tatiana de Rosnay: an artistic residence with a touch of paranoia

«Les fleurs de l’ombre» de Tatiana de Rosnay: une résidence artistique aux accents de paranoïa

Author of 11 novels sold more than 11 million copies around the world, the writer of the franco-English Tatiana de Rosnay offers this spring, a novel removing, with a touch of paranoia-related technologies, and The flowers of the shade. Ironically, this novel was written well before the crisis of the COVID-19 also speaks of disasters… in Paris, in the near future. A must-read.

In Paris, in a not so distant future, Clarissa, a writer, bilingual, leaves her husband after he discovered suddenly that the was deeply shocked. Looking for an apartment, and soon she submits an application for an artistic residence highly prized, is associated with a real estate project that is very special called CASA.

Immediately chosen, which surprises her a little, Clarissa moved into its new nest, a workshop, a super-chic on the 8th floor of a modern building, in a renovated area in the wake of a terrorist attack.

It doesn’t have to wait long to have the weird feeling of being constantly spoofed : the virtual assistant of the apartment, called Mrs Dalloway, in homage to Virginia Woolf, seems to interfere in his privacy. The trauma of Clarissa bubble to the surface and the paranoia settles down little by little. With the help of her granddaughter, a teenager, Clarissa begins to investigate. And what she will discover is not reassuring.

Near future

Tatiana de Rosnay, interviewed in full containment, had not intended that this novel is hard hitting, to the accents of a disaster, it was going to come out in full pandemic. It was completed in October.

“I am projected to in the near future – in 15 years – but never a second I could have imagined that what I describe is something that one lives there. I am both troubled and at the same time very intrigued of this context, which is so particular, at this time, and even difficult to describe.”

The writer adds that in his book, there is a moment where Paris empties completely because of a heat wave unprecedented. “I describe a city that was completely emptied… and here it is, this city!”

The Eiffel tower

She imagined the terrible scenes : a terrorist attack, the Eiffel tower, which falls… “I imagined the attack, and I do not hide from you that I pray with all my might that it never happens.”

Tatiana de Rosnay lives within 300 metres of the Eiffel tower and the see of his apartment. “I wouldn’t support something happening to the Eiffel tower. Clarissa describes it, 10 years later, his granddaughter. But it was very disturbing to write it.”


In the world that it describes, there are more trees, more birds, more insects. Is it eco-anxious nature? “When you look at the speed at which bees are dying, the birds too… and the diversity that starts to deplete at a rapid pace, one cannot help but ask questions.”

It also touches a hot topic : the pervasiveness of technology in our lives. But she does not wish his readers to see a novel post-apocalyptic, because there is something else. “It is hard, it is true, but it also addresses positive things : a return to nature, the importance of family and human connection.”

“This is also that I wanted to show : in a world of increasingly robotic and invaded by an artificial intelligence that is necessary and important, there is still a resistance, an exit door, a light, hope. And it seems to me that the hope the most important, that is to say : what is the place that we, as human beings, in this world that scare you?”

  • The writer Tatiana de Rosnay is a French-English.
  • She has written 11 novels, sold 11 million copies in the world.
  • Several of his novels have been adapted to the cinema with distributions prestigious, including Boomerang and Mocha.
  • His latest novel, The flowers of the shadow, has been written simultaneously in French and in English.


Tatiana de Rosnay
Editions Robert Laffont/Héloïse d’ormesson
336 pages”>

The flowers of the shadow
Tatiana de Rosnay
Editions Robert Laffont/Héloïse d’ormesson
336 pages

At the bottom of the lake, in a cloudy bluish color of the blurred shapes stood out, hands flexed towards it, slowly, the interlacing of black hair sprang to infinity, such as flowers of the shade at the same time reassuring and poisonous. Once, she had even felt a glimpse of the face of Virginia Woolf, but not the one we knew, not, another, only a few people had to see ; the face bloated and pallor of the drowned, whose body had been found several weeks after her disappearance on the banks of the river Ouse. The dream of the lake was transformed into a nightmare.”

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