There is a small catch with this reference: the one on my picture is a Northern Wheatear, spotted in Greenland. But he has a Kurdish cousin, seen in France in 2015, strangely enough; and that small event was enough to Jean Rolin to embark the reader into a crazy investigation where show up all together… the ornithological collection of the British Museum, some British, Russian and German spies, the creator of James Bond and the political situation in the Middle-East.
Previously, journalist and reporter all over the planet, Jean Rolin kept the taste of confronting himself to reality, as much to wars and conflicts (Christians in Palestine, Campagnes in Yugoslavia), as to the backyards of big cities (La Clôture, in Paris, or the hilarious Ravissement de Britney Spears in Los Angeles, city that Rolin explores by bus -he doesn't drive) or to... the life of a bird. He shares with Florence Aubenas, Emmanuel Carrère and David Simon a bottomless empathy for all facets of humanity, without any complacency but with a maniac sense of details and a "so British" nonsense humour.
I always find great joy when I read a Rolin's book, but most of all my favorite is La Clôture (The Fence), the more "local" one, that draws a portrait of a small "den of iniquity" around the Clôture street, blocked between a motorway and a wasteland. On survey mode, Rolin maps this forgotten area and mostly gives a voice to its inhabitants: tramps, prostitutes, warehouse keepers…, a generous gaze that opens a new world, just next door.
Le Traquet kurde, Jean Rolin, Ed. P.O.L, January 2018, Award Alexandre-Vialatte 2018
All books are published by P.O.L editions, some of them have been translated into English: The Explosion of the Radiator Hose, Christians in Palestine