AUTHOR Claire Marin
Publisher Autrement
Publication Date 05 April 2023

Humanities and Non-Fiction


A philosophical and personal reflection on the moments that cause ruptures and incite new beginnings which has sold more than 20,000 copies in France. Translation rights to this essay have been sold for four languages.

Why do we start anew? What makes us seek the fervor, thrill, and freshness of new beginnings? How do we maintain our ardor through their challenges? Professor Claire Marin writer and philosopher explores these new beginnings by applying her skills for comprehending situations and invites the reader to take a journey with her around the fascinating question: What is a new beginning?  
In her third essay, Claire Marin breaks down the notion of "new beginnings", as there can be many types of new beginnings: "Voluntary new beginnings, improvised ones, those that enter our lives unexpectedly making them better or those that shatter us. There are also new beginnings that we do not take on due to lack of courage, confidence or clarity, and those that we wait for in vain," explains the writer, who teaches philosophy in Paris’ Grandes Ecoles: "Les Débuts, also addresses the issue of introducing a break; making a clean cut, there is a before and an after, the status quo is transformed. It addresses the question of who we are with respect to events; to what happens to us, for better or for worse; what forces us to redefine who we are; reposition ourselves; rethink our ties... »
In Les Débuts, like in her previous works, Rupture(s) and Être à sa place - which received great critical acclaim and have been very successful with readers in France – Claire Marin cites the work of other writers, quotes philosophers and illustrates her points with personal experiences. "The variety of references is one of the unique aspects of her writing. She describes her style as 'simple'; but more accurately it is accessible and it speaks to the reader – incredible attributes," says the literary magazine Lire. In France, the book received great press including a dedicated article in Le Monde, shortly after its 2023 release.
"Les Débuts is part of the Les Grands Mots d'Autrement collection, launched in 2012 - a collection of short essays by philosophers, sociologists, historians and novelists who combine reasoned debate and personal reflection, to share their way of inhabiting language and considering the world," says Mélody Enjoubault, Head of Foreign Rights at Flammarion, who has sold the  translation rights for Spanish (Anagrama, world Spanish rights), Catalan, Italian (Einaudi), Arabic (Dar Al Tashkeel) and Japanese (Hosei UP). 
"We have drawn attention to the original way this universal subject has been broached, the accessibility of the text and its beautiful style. Claire Marin’s growing success and the short format, were also elements that helped convince publishers," explains Mélody Enjoubault, who is expecting an offer for Catalan soon. 
Katja Petrovic 
April 2024