Alexis, a famous actor in his forties, has problematic relationships with women. Aurore, a single mother, has had enough of relationships with men and takes refuge in the mountains with her son. Western is the story of the improbable meeting of these two characters on the run.

The western is also the framework in which the author places this duel. A metaphor sometimes applied, sometimes successful. The quality of this novel rests above all on the acuity of Maria Pourchet’s gaze, which examines male-female relationships through the X-rays of movement.

Men do not necessarily emerge winners from this duel. Pourchet spares neither their small and great cowardices, nor their abuse, nor their ego… As for Aurore, she embodies the weariness and bitterness of women who run from morning to evening, “metro-work-children-lovers-sleep », in a crazy round that often leaves them dissatisfied and frustrated.

The author holds a doctorate in social sciences and it shows: Western offers a real analysis of the human condition, heterosexual romantic relationships and the alienation linked to the world of work. Rich themes that she already addressed in her previous novels, from All the Women Except One to Fire and Les Impatients.

Pourchet’s writing is acerbic, empathetic and piquant. She draws and hits her target, like in westerns…

There is a kinship between Western, The Dear Asshole by Virginie Despentes and The Synthetic Heart by Chloé Delaume. If you liked these two novels, you will like Western, a back-to-school essential, in the running for the Goncourt.