Biography of an Organizer

Yoann Pesant

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 152 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781532088971 Reviewed: April, 2020 Author Website: Visit »

Biography of an Organizer is set in the world of “Club Vacation,” a thinly disguised version of Club Med. Author Yoann Pesant calls it both “A True Story” and “A True Novel” on the front cover (and a “Biography” in the title); the back cover identifies it as a memoir, in addition to a biography and an autobiography. The actual book is not quite any of those.

The story is relayed from the point of view of Louise, who wants a vacation so badly that she announces at her job that she’s leaving in two days. She is told not to come back. She picks up her best friend Andrea, only then bothering to see about tickets. They make it to a village in Mexico and enjoy a week full of group activities and some romance, which in Louise’s case turns to love with a man named Yoann.

As the confusion over whether this is fact or fiction might indicate, reading this slim book is a puzzling experience. Pesant writes on the back cover that he lived this experience “only to be a survivor tormented by a past reality which follows him even to this day.” Nothing about this, however, shows up in the book, which has a happy ending. The narrative also includes distracting misspellings, and the detailed march through daily activity schedules at a resort – every day, for a week – doesn’t offer readers much to engage with.

While writing a biography of oneself from the point of view of another character has the potential to be an exercise in empathetic storytelling, Biography of an Organizer never fully inhabits any of the formats it claims to be working in: There’s too little plot for a novel, and it’s too focused on someone else to be a memoir.

The work suffers as a result and is unlikely to appeal to most readers.

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