In Ploërmel, in Brittany, censorship and tensions around Neige Sinno, author of “Triste tigre”

Neige Sinno, winner of the Femina prize, in Paris, November 6, 2023.

A construction tent sits on the sidewalk of the La Canopée bookstore, in Ploërmel (Morbihan). This Wednesday, November 15, around twenty people gathered underneath, due to lack of space in the crowded shop in this town of almost 10,000 inhabitants, located in the Breton countryside. Everyone wants to listen to Neige Sinno, author of sad tiger (POL, 288 pages, 20 euros), winner of the Femina Prize and the literary prize The world.

Before discussing the work, which discusses the s perpetrated in her childhood by her stepfather, the writer stops on the “controversy” which shakes the city. End of September, sad tiger was removed from the CDI of the city’s historic high school, where 1,700 students are educated. Order of Véronique Calas, head of the private establishment La Mennais. She also decided to cross the title off a list to study as part of a high school competition. According to her, the text could “to hit, shock, weaken”.

In post for twenty-four years, the principal ensures: “By enrolling their daughter or son at the La Mennais high school, parents have chosen a centuries-old establishment, with a strong history, traditions and an educational project which places the young person at the center of its concerns. In a world regularly affected by crises, our establishment aims to be a place of well-being and fulfillment. »

Despite a petition launched by students and an outcry from some of the 145 teachers against the ban, the management has not changed its mind on this work frequently praised for its accuracy, although it contains some trying descriptions of attacks. “I had to tell about violence against a child. We had to put words so as not to remain in the abstract,” umes Snow Sinno.

“This book did not attack me”

In the audience, around fifteen high school students from La Mennais agree. They don’t understand their principal’s ban. One of them gets annoyed: “We are encouraged to develop critical thinking. Today, we would not be adult enough to face this text when the Internet constantly bombards us with violent images…” A final year student continues: “This book made a mess of my head, but did not attack me. This censorship goes against the values ​​of openness defended by the establishment. » Olivier Millet, history and geography teacher at La Mennais high school, says ” shocked “ And “affected” by the exclusion of sad tiger. Others criticize the “deafening silence” Since.

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