In this very interesting '7 things' piece we asked Veronique to give us an insight into what she feels her readers would like to know about her which we are sure you will find fascinating.

Veronique Olmi credit Thierry Rajic

Veronique Olmi credit Thierry Rajic

1)    I’d like readers to know that my book, Daughters Beyond Command, contains autobiographical elements. In fact, just like the three sisters in the book, I grew up in the South of France in the 70s, in Aix-en-Provence, in a big Catholic family. At 20, I left for Paris, where I enrolled in a performing arts course at Jean-Laurent Cochet, just like Sabine; like Hélène, I lived between two families – one in Paris, one in Aix-en-Provence, and my dog was my best friend; finally, just like Mariette, I don’t see myself as being part of one Church in particular, but Christianity is important to me. 

2)    The only character in the novel that wholly resembles a real person, is the father. My father has passed away now, but he was a man torn between the immense love he felt for his daughters, and the fear that they’d choose the wrong path. He was overwhelmed by what happened in France after May 1968, and unable to keep up with the changing customs, which tormented him. 

3)    I therefore grew up in a complex familial and societal situation, and that has affected how I see the world – with all its contradictions and ambiguities – and so, for the characters in my books, nothing is black and white, everything is unclear and complex, and their destiny is wide open… they are in the throes of freedom!

4)    While writing this book, the research I carried out and the documents I read taught me a lot about animals and ecology. I discovered so many atrocities that I became vegetarian. I wouldn’t say that, out of respect for animals or the planet, everyone should become vegetarian, but I think we must urgently reduce our meat consumption.

5)    Reading is the love of my life. Since the moment I learnt to read, I’ve found refuge in it, and it constantly teaches me new lessons. Reading is a loyal companion. It took a long time before I dared to write, as much as I admired many big authors. But the day I told myself that I was unique, just like every single one of us is, I dared to do it.

6)    Twelve years ago, I created a theatre festival with two friends, called “Le Paris des Femmes”. Each year, nine women will write a short piece for the festival. But in those twelve years, we haven’t seen women’s position in theatre change, and the most important roles still remain reserved for men. The world of live performances is also advancing at an increasingly slow rate, since #MeToo, as it can be detrimental for an artist to give evidence, or file a complaint against abuse or sexual assault. 

7)    I’d also like to add that I have two children, and that I raised them mostly on my own. I have infinite respect for people who go into their lives with no complaints, but with love and solidarity, and of course, I have a lot of admiration for single-parent families, and mothers who fight for their children and manage to remain happy and hopeful.


Véronique Olmi

Véronique was born in 1962 in Nice and now lives in Paris. She is an acclaimed French dramatist and her twelve plays have won numerous awards. Olmi won the Prix Alain-Fournier emerging artist award for her 2001 novella Bord de Mer (Beside the Sea, Peirene Press, 2010). It has since been translated into all major European languages.

Her book Daughters Beyond Command is released 29th September 2022 / £12.99 / TPB / ISBN: 9781787704039

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