He started jotting down the story of his life two years ago in school exercise books while he sat on park benches.
47 year old homeless man, Jean-Marie Roughol, wrote a book on being homeless and begging n the streets of Paris. The 176-pages book titled ‘Je tape la manche: Une vie dans la rue’ which means ‘My life as a panhandler: A life on the streets’ in English has sold over 50,000 copies.
He started jotting down the story of his life two years ago in school exercise books while he sat on park benches. The book was published by Calmann-Levy, while Former French interior minister, Jean-Louis Debre, helped him with writing and editing after Roughol offered to help him look after his bike while he shopped on the Champs-Elysees.
He made an appearance on the Micheal Drucker chat show where he revealed that he would still live on the street as he waits to make profits from his book. He used the small advance which was given him to buy a smartphone so he could keep in touch with his growing number of Facebook followers.
Roughol who was abandoned by his mother and brought up by his alcoholic father told AFP reporter Cicle Azzaro:” In 10 months I will start getting my royalties, although I would prefer to have them now. People write to me from everywhere and I am stopped everyday by people who have read my book.
Last week I was taken to a restaurant by a man from Tennessee who bought 15 copies of my book and another person came from Switzerland with chocolate for me.”
He hopes to change the way homeless people are viewed around the world, “people who have read
it say they look differently at us now.”
The book also brought him good-luck as he was reunited with his long-lost brothers who watched his interview on TV. Roughol is glad to now have a family and nieces and nephews who want to meet him. “When I have my own apartment I will buy a computer so I can continue writing books.” He said.