Joel Dicker was born in 1985 in Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied law. He spent childhood summers in New England, particularly in Stonington and Bar Harbor, Maine. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair won three French literary prizes, including the Grand Prix du Roman from the Académie Française, and was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt. Dicker lives in Geneva.
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Your Web site says that you wrote The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair because you wanted to try your hand at an "American novel." Did you simply mean "set in America" or something else?
I simply wanted to place a work of fiction in a New England setting, a place I know well. Very quickly I realized that I was so familiar with the U.S. that I could allow myself to create an American town with American characters.
Actually, this book helped me discover a part of myself: that I could surpass my origins and my writing language and re-create a part of the United States in French.
It's impossible to read Harry Quebert without thinking of Lolita. How much if at all were you conscious of Nabokov's novel while writing your own?
The Lolita image came to me late. I was well into writing the book when I decided that Harry's character would have a relationship with a young girl. In my head I immediately made the link to Lolita, from which came my reference N-O-L-A, like L-O-L-I-T-A. However, having read Lolita when I was fifteen, I had an image which was much more naive than the image that hit me straight in the face when I reread the book a few months ago. I realized that we evolve with books, and...
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