There is always a bit of magic and “strange things” in Christiane Lahaie's writings. Zone 51 persists in this lineage, while the author herself describes her novel as a UFO combining realism and a climate of mystery.
Christiane Lahaie lived on the Valcartier military base until the age of 11. A closed place, slightly outside the world, where she felt protected and which undoubtedly fueled her imagination. A bilingual universe too, which allowed her to immerse herself in two cultures to the point of being strongly inspired by her studies (her bachelor's degree in English literature at McGill University), her readings (she read The Lord of the Rings 7 times) and its eclectic background.
“I liked to believe in things like that,” explains the one whose youth was marked by her readings on esotericism. In my late teens I figured out it was anything, astrology and all that, but I continued to be fascinated by this need to believe that so many people have. ”
Now a professor of literature, cinema and creative writing, the 60-year-old novelist claims to cherish the freedom of the imagination, allowing her to go into areas that are not necessarily realistic coming with fantastic literature.
Silence in Area 51
168 pages “> Zone 5
The word that liberates. This is the main idea behind Zone 51 , a novel uniting possible extraterrestrial lives and real identity gaps.
It was after having analyzed numerous testimonies from participants in shows on the paranormal that the author had the idea for this novel. “These people who said they were abducted by aliens all explained that it happened at night, in the bedroom, and often claimed to have experienced sexual abuse. By talking to a psychotherapist, I understood that someone who has experienced incest could actually invent – and believe – this kind of story to cover up their illness. ”
Area 51 takes place in Nevada, around the notorious Area 51, this supposedly secret military base created for the study of reverse engineering of extraterrestrial devices, which was allegedly recovered by the US military after World War II. It is in this very “real” place that young anthropology students decide to go to try to unravel the mystery of the disappearance of Olivia Solès.
The private diary of this young missing woman, the mythical Route 66, the existence – or not – of extraterrestrials, characters in search of identity and the silences fueling speculation and mystery: this is what makes up Zone 51 .
“My goal, above all, was to show a funny America,” explains the writer. It is sometimes astonishing that the American people act as they do, when they elect aliens like Trump, for example. I really wanted to play with this Americanness, with the strangeness of the territory, its vastness which means that we can never really properly register the United States where there are large desert areas and areas emptied of the natives. A territory that carries a lot of violence, secrets and unspoken. ”