Francesca Gee chooses the weapon of self-publishing to accuse the writer

She looks appeased, Francesca Gee. Long pleated navy skirt and polka dot blouse, the one that has been hiding for a long time continues the interviews in Paris, without anguish. His voice has changed compared to last year, more serene, confident. This 63-year-old woman, who met Gabriel Matzneff when she was 15 (nothing illegal by law) and him 37, puts her book next to her tea. She publishes The deadliest weapon, in which she recounts her relationship with the writer in the early 1970s, her parents who had just divorced, her father in favor of this affair, her mother who accuses her of having stolen her lover …

Above all, she deciphers with finesse the mechanics of the hold put in place by a man today accused of pedocriminality. She also insists on his friends – politicians, editors, journalists – who have protected him. Convinced that this was the only solution, she self-publishes this story. After a difficult year 2020, “A tunnel” where she relived this story until the sensations of physical contact, she admits: “I am very happy, I have a feeling of accomplishment, so much has been done to prevent me from publishing. ”

A kind of right of reply

By resorting to self-publishing, Francesca Gee will have more difficulty reaching a large audience. She sells her book on a site, but also in bookstores, thanks to a small distributor, Pollen. Printed in 5,000 copies, it will not benefit from the promotion of Consent, by Vanessa Springora, published by Grasset in January 2020, and sold 288,000 copies. “For the book to come out was an almost vital necessity for me, for the object to exist, explains Francesca Gee. I wanted to put some small seeds, white stones to give an idea of ​​what type of individual Matzneff was. ” A sort of right of reply to a man who has never stopped talking about her throughout his works.

In 1994 then in 2004, she proposed a first manuscript to many publishers, including Albin Michel and Grasset. Without success. Grasset hinted that the book was incomplete. But Francesca Gee still does not understand that she has not been further pushed to take over the text. However, she does not give up writing. British (born in Rome), this former journalist at Reuters then decided, from 2008 to 2010, to follow a creative writing workshop at Columbia University in New York.

Disappointments with publishers

Since the outbreak of the Matzneff affair, Francesca Gee has nevertheless had contact with a publishing house. At the end of June 2020, the sociologist Pierre Verdrager, who follows the evolution of the perception of pedophilia, suggests to his editor, Armand Colin, to take an interest in his manuscript. Contacted, Francesca Gee decides to go through a Parisian intermediary. As she lives in the South-West, it’s easier for appointments. Above all, previous disappointments with publishers make her suspicious.

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