December 6, 2022


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Autopsy of Michael Bruley by India Desjartins

“What kind of life should you have lived so that people would not believe you are dead?” ⁇

Released yesterday at 5:30 p.m.

This is the question that India Desjardins asks at the beginning of its podcast Fall: Michael Bruley Presented on Radio-Canada’s OHdio operating system. Author of the hit series Diary of Aurélie Laflamme He devoted himself to the project last year and did dozens of interviews to come to this fascinating six-episode podcast, which is an autopsy of his relationship with his teacher, Michael Bruley.

This is the first time I have dared to speak publicly about this. “Exploring Michel Brûlé’s life has become an excuse to analyze a situation that raises social questions that interest me,” he says. For example abuse of power. ⁇

Photo by Bernard Brolt, Press Archives

Michel Brûlé died in May 2021 in Brazil.

Podcast show Fall Exactly one year after his death in a bicycle accident in Brazil, publisher Michel Brûlé, the founder of the house Les Intouchables. In October 2020, he was convicted of sexual assault after a trial. The Director of Criminal and Penal Cases (DPCP) had sought formal evidence for the death, which was done with the help of Interpol agents so that the judicial process could be halted.

It was the bizarre end point of a life that was, to say the least, unbelievable.

Upon hearing the news of his death, one of the first people I wrote to was India Desjardins. It was in our exchanges that I saw the birth of his podcast project. He was in a great position to talk deeply about Michel Brûlé.

Why? In 2013, I covered the Rencontres québécoises en Haïti organized by Rodney Saint-Éloi, where about twenty Quebec writers traveled to Port-au-Prince. Among them, India Desjardins. During this trip, India was told to experience the most difficult things with its teacher Michel Brûlé. What she tells me is, in my opinion, harassment. I was ready to write an article about his condition. But she was not ready and I respected her silence.

Almost 10 years later, I understood why by listening to his podcast. She was so scared of Michael Brooley.

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“By journalism standards and practices, you or another journalist should have his or her point of view, and he or she would have been very harsh on me,” he explains. People would have believed it, I would have seen myself in a civil war. I don’t think I would have won. He played in my head, he lied, he created things, it was hard to live. In Haiti, I was already at the end of my mind. After that, there was the referee, and it completely kicked me out. ⁇

War for Aureli

In Fall: Michael BruleyWe feel that India Desjardins wants to check its records with many experts Psychologist, judge, lawyer And those who knew Michel Brûlé Including Bryan Perro, Ghislain Taschereau and MC Gilles -, In addition to providing support to Jill Cote, who filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. India Desjardins wants to understand what happened to him and his show is not about tearing or revenge. She wants to bring the debate anywhere other than her particular case. It is an instructive and intricate portrait of the power relations in the publishing world we discover.

“I wanted to show that not everything is black or white,” he explains. There are those who still love him, including his family [la balado] Is going to cause pain, and there are those who are still suffering from his behavior. It is not possible to hold such an event without skinning one or the other. My goal is not to beat the dead. I overcame my anger at what happened and I can now fondle the beautiful things that happened. ⁇

The complexity of this relationship is well illustrated by India Desjardins. First, she never experienced any sexual harassment from Michael Bruley, the first publisher to believe in her as a writer when her manuscript was rejected by everyone.

My colleague Natalie Petrovsky described Les Intuchables as the “Ponno Welcome Center” for teachers whose doors we closed.

Michel Brûlé did not hesitate to invest in children’s series. Diary of Aureli Laughlam And Amos Tarragon. Millions of copies sold. Engines. When India Desjardins and Brian Perrow removed their marbles from the untouchables, they raised the beast, I have an impression. “Yes, because when we took our books, we took her biggest income,” says India Desjardins, and it was her income that empowered him.

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The young Michael Bruley, who was far left at the beginning of his career, recalled how the literary world was disturbed by his methods of producing results. Sometimes avant-garde, sometimes forgetting a lot of weird plans. Like his picture Guido“Fall” in Spanish means …

In fact, India Desjardins is well acquainted with its publisher with its lawyer, and we understand that he is still as indebted to Michael Bruley as he is to Brian Perrow. According to what we hear on the podcast both feel contributed to his success, but also his downfall.

Michael Bruley wanted to finish his Aurelie Laughflame series after eight episodes for India Desjartins, and as he had planned, it was his art choice from the start.

“I have the impression that Michael took the denials badly. Basically, if you say yes, he can give you the moon. But he seems to disagree when you say no. Consent is not just about sexual harassment. ⁇

The author wanted to reclaim the rights of Aurélie Laflamme in the arbitral tribunal. He received several insulting and threatening emails from Michael Bruley, believing that he was plotting against him. “When I started fighting, he stopped paying me. Under the contract, he was the payroll holder. I had to sink into my RRSPs. It cost me a lot to get Aurelie back. As a referee, I did not get everything I wanted, but it allowed me to have no contact with him anymore, except that I was always afraid to meet him at the book fair or at other events. I have to say… ”

Regardless of the impact of the show, it has already transformed one: India Desjardins. “Since then I have not been the only person. When I started it, I had fear, hatred, prejudice and misunderstanding not only over Michael but also over the justice system. In some respects I had a misunderstanding. This project allowed me to gain knowledge and gain more rationality. To say the things I experienced, it allowed me to understand and see.Information and knowledge bring you weapons.That’s what I went looking for.

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Fall: Michael BruleyAn India Desjardins podcast on OHdio on Tuesday, May 31st.

Photo by Martin Chamberland, Archives Law Press

India Desjardins “wants Act 35 to be passed by the end of the parliamentary session”.

The urgency of Bill 35

India Desjartins wants to serve bigger than its experience itself. To build his reputation and success he seeks to help other authors by supporting the adoption of Bill 35, which aims to modify the laws regarding the status of the artist so that writers have a better work environment. , Including the right to collective bargaining. While preparing a film for us for Christmas, India Desjardins could not understand why he has better circumstances as a screenwriter than as a writer. “For me, Bill 35 is an emergency,” he said. Teachers will not be protected in the event of a labor dispute. When it goes well, no problem, but when it goes bad, it gets really bad. ⁇

India Desjardins wants to emphasize that there are good publishers above all else, not conspiracy or Omerta, but believes that the current situation regarding the rights of writers should come to an end. “The book industry is based on getting paid for one’s production performance, while most people in the industry get paid for their work.”

She is often heard to say that the publisher takes financial risk and the writer takes creative risk. “It’s like telling us that publishing is a privilege, just as we expect writers to get recognition. But everyone on the channel is paid, except for the basic editors for the entire channel. In fact, we can say that teachers are paid 10% of the sales, but in a world where the sales of a top seller average 2000 to 5000 copies, do the math. The death of François Blais made me think a lot. We are talking about a talented writer who could not live without a pen and was a night watchman. I find it important and urgent to think about this situation, “he said.

“I hope Act 35 will be passed by the end of the parliamentary session on June 10. Otherwise it will be postponed again. I hope it also shows that we own.