I have just started reading Lorraine Connection by Dominique Manotti. Winner of the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger Award 2008.
As soon as I open the book I find the following sentence:
This is a novel. Everything is true and everything is false.
Some food for thought, an article from Le Monde diplomatique, October 1997.
Bitter fruits of modernisation in Lorraine by Pierre Rimbert and Rafael Trapet
“Twenty years after the steel crisis Lorraine is a remarkable case study. Following the disappearance of its traditional industry the region was earmarked for modernisation. It has come down to earth with a shock. Like other parts of Europe it has fallen prey to bounty hunters attracted by relocation subsidies, firms that set up shop for few years and move out again as soon as they are offered better conditions elsewhere, with no regard for the unemployment and suffering they leave in their wake. Lorraine was the scene of one of the French labour movement’s fiercest battles. Despite defeat, its memory lives on. And with fresh closures announced, resistance is building up once more.”
Read the complete article HERE.
In May 2006 Kim Woo Choong, founder of the Daewoo Group, was sentenced to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of charges including embezzlement and accounting fraud. 21 trillion won ($22bn) of his fortune was seized and he was fined an additional 10m won. On 30 December 2007, he was granted amnesty by President Roh Moo-hyun. (South Korean presidents traditionally hand out pardons for the new year.) Taken from Wikipedia.
Lorraine Connection begins in Pondange, a fictional town in the former Lorraine steel basin, where Daewoo built a factory which subsisted with the help of European credits and laundered money through an exchange with a Polish Daewoo factory. The workers go on strike because of their deplorable work conditions, then the factory burns down: one of the strikers is accused. At the same time, in Paris, the Daewoo company, associated with Matra, seals the deal for the privatization of Thomson even though Alcatel was expected to be the winner. Alcatel refuses to accept the decision and decides to contest it, both in Paris, by investigating corruption and collusion at the highest level; and in Pondange, by proving, if need be by inventing evidence, that the owners set fire to their own factory. (South Central Review. Volume 27, Numbers 1 & 2, Spring & Summer 2010. From Politics to the Roman Noir by Anissa Belhadjin).
To be continued….