Five important writers closed the editor’s door in five days, right after the trend was renewed. Some deplore their lack of independence with Isabel Saporta, who has just been appointed head of this house.
Fayard’s editions are facing a serious crisis, having seen the departure of five prominent authors within a few days, including the first Virginie Grimaldi, all unhappy with the management change.
This crisis has been brewing since the departure of Director-General Sophie de Closets in March. For eight years she remained the patron of this famous house, which was founded in 1857. The announcement on Monday 13 June of the name of her successor, Isabel Saporta, precipitated this departure.
They come because the parent company of Viard Editions, Hachette, is in the process of coming under the control of Vivendi, billionaire Vincent Bolloré’s group.
Sophie de Closets did not leave the Viard of her own free will, Also, writer and novelist Jacques Attali confirmed his departure on Friday, June 17th. For him, the choice was simple. “You have reached Viard by following her Claude Durand who became my best friend. I was then very happy with Sophie’s arrival. I will follow her wherever she goes.”It is to explain.
‘Independence under threat’
Journalist Fabrice Lom Sophie de Clouses called a “Best Editor in Paris”. with his daily mate the scientist, Gerard Davitt, they’re leaving, too. “Our editorial independence, so dear to us and always complete, is clearly under threat,” The two men wrote in a recorded letter to Isabel Saporta.
These two investigative journalists did not support Isabel Saporta’s sympathy for former President Nicolas Sarkozy, the subject of many of their works, accusing them of paying financial sources. “It is completely wrong. Isabel Saporta has seriously implicated us by spreading this rumor. Some live a hard life, from the moment we maintain it,” Fabrice Lom told AFP.
The most resounding departure of Villar is that of novelist Virginie Grimaldi, which was announced on Tuesday 14 June. “My values and beliefs no longer align with the direction the house is going,” She wrote on Twitter and Instagram. With her, he is number two in book sales in France (behind Guillaume Musso) who left, weighing in at 877,000 copies in 2021. Her rise is one of Sophie de Closets’ great success: she signed in 2016 this unknown, then author of a single novel With a very small diffuser.
Virginie Grimaldi did not provide any further explanation for this decision. “I didn’t have time to plan Plan B,” She told the literary site ActuaLitté.
Another “coup” made by Sophie de Closets recently: the success of the investigation into the Orpea group’s nursing homes by journalist Victor Castanet, grave diggers Which sparked a scandal after its release in January. This author is also leaving. “With Sophie de Closets, I saw how important the independence of the director of the publishing house is. However, Isabel Saporta defends the thesis of Nicolas Sarkozy on Gérard Davitt and Fabrice Lemme without any evidence. This is a shocking reference to the investigative journalists who publish in this house,” Saucepan.
On .’s website UPS Thursday, June 16, Isabel Saporta defended herself against this fear. “Independence is an honor for me and it is above all a basic requirement of our authors”, She said. It also denied any intention of entering Vincent Bollory inside the Viard. “What I see is that the Hachette Group has brought a left-wing investigative journalist, environmental activist, and a free-voice, to the head of the group’s jewel,” indicated.
According to several sources in the publishing sector, Sophie de Closets is waiting to take over the presidency of Flammarion Publications, who has been denied her boss since Anna Pavloch’s resignation in January. Flammarion does not comment on this information at this time.
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