Martel’s book was published simultaneously in a number of languages and is set to appear in dozens more. Four days after its February 20 release it already topped the best-seller lists in France, Portugal, Quebec, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Holland and England. The Times of London has just published a long, complimentary review by a professor of religious studies from Oxford.
Despite the time pressure, Martel, 51, insists that as background for my interview it’s important that we see Francois Ozon’s new film, “By the Grace of God.” It tells the true story of a group of men from the city of Lyon, where a pleasant-looking priest who led their Catholic youth movement abused them when they were young and left them scarred for life, physically and mentally. An entire generation of boys endured that abuse, with the knowledge of the parents and of the cardinal of Lyon. Finally, a few of them mustered the courage to expose the priest and the duplicitous cardinal who covered up for him in the diocese.
Read More →