Guest List



Michel Braudeau was born on May 12,1946 in Niort and was brought up in Nantes before attending boarding schools in Paris and Normandy. Under the influence of his grandfather he discovered very early on Proust, Montaigne, Stendhal, Gide and Rimbaud. These writers introduced him to the joy of reading in bed at an age when children tend to be more interested in real life..
Michel Braudeau was in Paris in May 68 where he witnessed the effervescence of the revolt and of the new wind that was rising. However, he never joined a party for lack of trust. He graduated from the presitgeous school of Sciences Politiques and holds a master’s in general linguistics. He translated the first Noam Chomsky work in France entitled Structures syntaxiques (seuil 1969). Following the release of his work, he became an assistant at Editions du Seuil and he met Lacan, Barthes and Sollers and developed a friendship with the great painter,Robert Malaval. He liked to listen to Mozart and Bartok and discovered rock music that filled the background musical space that was still free in his life. David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd had a profound influence on him. Here is what he said : (loosely translated) « They are all my brothers in arms, my companions in sorrow, my guardian angels, all in heaven ». Robert Malaval’s suicide in 1980 marked for him the end of this unforgettable decade of glitters.

Michel Braudeau had published his first novel Vaulascar (Seuil, 1977 ; 1991) three years earlier. He then became a journalist fopr the weekly l’Express. He published his second novel Passage de la main d’or in 1980 (Seuil).
In 1985 Michel Braudeau went to work for Le Monde, first at the cultural service and then as a special correspondent. This job helped quench his thirst for traveling and as he has stated, (loosely translated) « this is for me the perfect job, the most lively of all ». He published Naissance d’une passion the same year (Seuil, 1985, 1995_ Prix Médicis). He joined the reading panel of Gallimard in 1994 and in 1999 he became manager of the NRF, the literary magazine that he would send his poems tow when he was young. So he has come full circle.

En Français



  • Café (Gallimard, 2007)
  • Sarabande (NRF, 2006)
  • Faussaires éminents (Gallimard, 2006)
  • L’étoile de Malaval (William Blake And Co, 2005)
  • L’usage des saints (Gallimard, 2004)
  • Le Rêve amazonien (Gallimard, 2004)
  • Retour à Miranda (Gallimard, 2003)
  • L’interprétation des singes (Stock, 2001)
  • La non-personne, une enquête (Gallimard, 2000)
  • Pérou (Gallimard, 1998)
  • Loin des forêts (Gallimard, 1997)
  • Esprit de mai ( Gallimard, 1995)

Synopsis of Café

Michel Braudeau is a traveler-writer investigating a well-known drink that was originally from Abyssinia, whose spiritual virtues were discovered by chance, namely coffee. The drink, the magic potion of the philosophers, the devil’s elixir for the established orders eventually infiltrated, with its loquacious genii, the very highest levels of society during the Age of Enlightenment before spreading to the whole world. From Venice to Vienna, from Madrid to Lisbon, from Prague to Saint-German des Prés, pagan temples were erected in honour of this adventurous drink. These were ‘cafés’ where people met, chatted and dreamt while savoring the exotic drink. Coffee is in second position after oil as a world trade commodity. It has become the sybaritic stake in another struggle, that of fair-trade. The political history of coffee is often tumultuous and funny and it has had a great impact on our culture. And the espresso drunk at the counter of a café has never stopped being the secret agent of many freedoms.


Seuil - 2008

Loin des forêts

Gallimard - 1997

De l’amour, de la truculence et autres plaisirs

Les cafés littéraires
Avec : BRAUDEAU Michel, LACLAVETINE Jean-Marie, OBERLE Gérard - Saint-Malo 1999

NRF Aventure

Saint-Malo 2008