Ingrid Astier

A new year means a new season, and a new journey.

This time, with a little help from two brilliant artists, Maciej Markowicz the photographer behind the The Moving Camera project and the celebrated French writer Ingrid Aster, we invite you to take the road, again.


Ingrid Astier | © Gallimard / Francesca Mantovani
© Gallimard / Francesca Mantovani


This year, the words of Ingrid Astier will take you on a trip around the world in 6 chapters. We are following Zim, a 33 years old man that made the choice to become a dreamer. From New York to Paris, through Tokyo or Papeete, each scene is a deep wake-up call for our protagonist and for us, as he's catching new senses of life from new environnements that drive him further in his spiritual journey.

Read Le voyage de Zim (in French) here 

- What motivated you to join this project?

It’s to become part of this tremendous family! Music is the natural ally to my lines and each of these tracks are full of a sound landscape that drives me to write. When Newvelle asked me to work with them, I didn’t hesitate a second. There was a Tower of Babel effect. On the opposite side of our world, some incredible musicians were expressing their language, and pierced by their music, my words were responding. By soaking the powerful emotional states delivered by this music, I felt like I was sneaking into their breath, lending my voice to their sounds, finding a way to communicate away from the contemporary noise, between whisper and confidence.

- Your story takes us to all corners of the world, are you a serious traveller?

I like to travel. Like improvisational group music, it allows and provides a cultural intermingling and tolerance for others. My stories are like marine expeditions. You need to cast off from your day-to-day life and embark. When I create a character, it’s like I get to live in another self. I have been lucky to discover some dreamed and faraway places, Polynesia, New Caledonia and others. My work with Air France has also made me very comfortable with travel. Even nearby exotism, unsuspected, delights me.



- Do you think Newvelle members can recognize themselves with Zim’s character?

Zim is a universal character. I started to write The Journey of Zim in Burgundy and finished it in Ireland, in the middle of Connemara. Zim is born from repeated listening - in swirls - of Season 3. I have a clear memory of Clearing from Andrew Zimmerman’s record “Half Light”, it seems to encapsulate the whole album. As Carmen would say the magic formula, the incantation. I was listening to it over and over and Zim, understandably, begins to turn around. By his rotation, the vinyl makes us believe in eternity. In the course of reading, smoothly, the sounds are skating like on an ice rink. But closer, this course withholds grooves, made of invisible canyons. I like this relationship between surface and depth. Zim is its echo. His journey is to prove himself. He moves around the globe to dive deeper down into his emotions and discover who he really is, as it is revealed by the diamond tip. In New York, Paris or Berlin, we are all made of these entrails, of this grooves, way deeper than the Mariana Trench…



- Does it change a life to travel the world?​

Jazz has been fuelled with this revolution. As J.J. Johnson said: “Jazz doesn’t stand still -- and never will!” but also Mila Kundera: “Its style is movement”. Zim turns around the world, but mainly around himself. He’s a new kind of Little Prince, stained of Candide for the astonishment, and of Cyrano for the feelings. I also drew inspiration from Vinyl for Zim embodies errors of tracking, path and vantage point. Then, it became clear that my universe could be coupled with Laurent Derobert’s one, the existential mathematician, who power walks the interior warren of the beings through poetic equations. Zim’s wanderings were taking a philosophical direction: can we get close to the infinite? Does decentering throw you off balance? Ploughing our own furrow, is it so complex? How to be sure of the beauty of our own trajectory? Zim invites you to know yourself, to roam yourself. To turn, not to stun yourself, but to break even. With a radical road, love, turning each of us into an adventurer. To revolutionize an existence, you just have to love.

everything seems so far away, everything seems so close by. You can
be born in New York, grow up in Paris, wear a kimono in the morning
while drinking Jamaican coffee. Take a shower using monoi, practice
kravmaga self-defense, listen to an Indian tabla solo, drink German
beer, eat an Italian lunch, enjoy a Korean dinner. Have a Thai massage
before sipping a Japanese whisky, fall asleep while forgetting what your
own country has to offer. Yes, one can. The optical illusion is complete.
Zim looked out the plane’s window. What distance separated
him from the faraway?"

Follow Ingrid Astier’s Novel by subscribing to Season 3



Ingrid Astier lives in Paris. She has written:

Haute Voltige, Paris, Série Noire, Gallimard, 2017.
Petit éloge de la nuit, Paris, Folio Gallimard, 2014. En tournée au théâtre avec Pierre Richard.
Angle mort, Paris, Série Noire, Gallimard, 2013. Prix Calibre 47.
Egalement en poche : Angle mort, Paris, Folio Policier Gallimard n° 750, 2015.
Quai des enfers, Paris, Série Noire, Gallimard, 2010. Grand prix Paul Féval de la Société des gens de Lettres, Prix Lafayette, Prix Sylvie Turillon, Prix Polar en plein cœur.
Egalement en poche : Quai des enfers, Paris, Folio Policier Gallimard n° 642, 2012.

Omicidi sulla Senna, traduit en italien par Sergio Arecco, Bompiani, RCS Libri, 2014.
Repris en édition club, Omicidi sulla Senna, Milano, Mondadori Direct, 2014.
El Muelle del infierno, traduit en espagnol par Glenn Gallardo Jordan, Océano, La Puerta Negra, México, 2015.

Adventure novels
Même pas peur, Paris, Syros, 2015. Prix Roman et sac à dos.

Works on hedonism and literature
Le Goût du champagne, avec Bruno Verjus, Paris, Mercure de France, 2011.
Le Goût des parfums, Paris, Mercure de France, 2009.
Le Goût de la rose, Paris, Mercure de France, 2008.
Cacao vanille, l’or noir de Madagascar, Paris, Agnès Viénot, 2008. Photographies d’Hervé Nègre.
Le Goût du thé, Paris, Mercure de France, 2007.
Le Goût du chocolat, Paris, Mercure de France, 2007.
Cuisine inspirée, l’audace française, photographies d’Hervé Nègre, Paris, Agnès Viénot, 2007. Gourmand Awards du Livre de cuisine innovant et de la plus belle couverture.
L’Amour, dix façons de le préparer, avec Bruno Verjus, Paris, L’Épure, 2008.
Le Safran, Paris, Agnès Viénot, 2007. Photographies d’Isabelle Rozenbaum. Prix Guerlain 2008.

« Une main de velours dans un gant de soie » dans L’Herne J.C. Oates, Paris, L’Herne, 2017.
« Jamais sans mon corps : éloge de l’appétit » dans Manifeste hédoniste de Michel Onfray, Paris, Autrement, 2011. Paru également en poche, Paris, J’ai lu Essai, 2013.
« L’écriture du paradoxe » dans L’Herne Cioran, Paris, L’Herne, 2009.
E.M. Cioran, Exercices négatifs, en marge du Précis de décomposition, Paris, Gallimard, 2005 (établissement du texte et postface).

Prizes for Literature
2013 : Prix Calibre 47 pour Angle mort
2012 : Prix Sylvie Turillon pour Quai des enfers
2010 : Grand prix Paul-Féval de littérature populaire de la Société des gens de lettres pour Quai des enfers
2010 : Prix Lafayette pour Quai des enfers
2010 : Prix Polar en plein cœur pour Quai des enfers
1999 : Prix du jeune écrivain de langue française pour Face-à-faces dans La descente des oies sauvages sur le sable et autres nouvelles.
2007 : Gourmand Awards du livre de cuisine innovant et Gourmand Awards de la plus belle couverture pour Cuisine inspirée, l’audace française
1993 : Prix Strasbourg pour l’essai Rencontre avec Brecht et sa modernité84
1989 : 1er prix national du concours pour la défense de la langue française de l’Association des membres de l’ordre des Palmes académiques



​"​He had wanted to dream. Dream for a full year. To see if being
free taught one to simplify one’s life. He had wanted to see other
places. Now, he knew.
It’s no use running away. You cannot pull yourself away from
your magnetic North.
Love is a home base. A true one. And any voyage is a pilgrimage.​"​

Translation: Jérôme Reese