MyFrenchLife™ French Book Club – BOOK 3 UPDATE – Antoine Leiris, You Will Not Have My Hate

Book Club Update – time to buy Book #3

This book, ‘You Will Not Have My Hate’ by Antoine Leiris, was not my first choice. I changed my mind after interviewing Sam Taylor, the translator of both Leïla Slimani and Antoine Leiris, who confessed: “The biggest emotional reaction I’ve had to a translation was with Antoine Leiris’s ‘You Will Not Have My Hate’, which made me cry several times.”

It’s the poignant testimony of the days that followed the 13 November 2015 Paris terrorist attack at ‘the Bataclan’ where the author lost his wife and mother of their 17-month old toddler.

It’s a 129-page novella you may read in the span of 2 hours.

French Book Club - BOOK 3 UPDATE – Antoine Leiris, You Will Not Have My Hate

French book club: Additional reading recommendation

In addition, at My French Life – Ma Vie Francaise we also published a 2018 Summer reading list of recent English books set in France.

I invite you to discuss them at the same time as Book #3.

Diary note: Paris mid-late September

The next Paris Book club meeting #3 is likely to take place in the second half of September. If you happen to be in Paris at that time please let us know. You are welcome to join other members whether you’ve read the book or not!

How and where to get involved…

In order to stay close to the discussion happening in the French Book Club, we recommend that you join us in our Closed Community Group.

We have pleasure sharing some of the recent discussions below to encourage you to join the French book club discussions.

You can apply/join here now.

French book club: Member engagement

A sample of member discussion about Book #3 from MyFrenchLife Closed Community Group

I have just purchased the ebook and I look forward to the Book club meeting in September.

I recently watched the documentary on Netflix so I’m looking forward to reading this.

It will be interesting to discuss both the book and the documentary (and since it was made by the husband of a member of MyFrenchLife Community, I suppose we’ll be able to ask her questions if we need to)

I’ve started reading the French edition. The prose style is exquisite, the subject matter heartbreaking.

I think it is a type of oxymoron, although not so incongruous in this literary context as oxymorons usually are, since there are many works telling of the death of people close to the author yet written so beautifully, so we don’t feel it is incongruous so much, although we still reel from the emotional weight of it.

Joan Didion’s book about the death of her husband and daughter does this too, although in a different way to this author. There is also an Australian author who wrote about the loss of his family many years ago in his book ‘Year One’, of which this French book reminds me somewhat.

I have not read it yet but since I saw author in ‘La Grande Librairie’, I know that most recent novel by Daniel Pennac ‘Mon Frère’ (April 2018) also deals beautifully and poetically with the loss of a loved one.

We can’t envisage comparing pains, however, in our Western world, where last war was waged 70 years ago, terrorist attacks and killings are a totally brutal, incomprehensible way to cope with mourning. In that sense, I believe this book is among a few only.

I finished reading this book this afternoon and most of it I was reading through a veil of tears. It was so poignantly beautiful to read.

I hope it’ll touch and move similarly members who will read it too.

I also hope we can discuss it later in July for instance when everyone has their copy.

I’d like to hear your testimonies about this tragedy.

  • How did you learn about it? where were you at that precise moment? how did you feel?
  • Did the book make you change your opinion?
  • Did the book cause you to relive this moment, and
  • For the American audience did this book cause you to recall another historical landmark (9/11)?

As for those in France, there is now a before and after ‘the Bataclan’! In that respect, Banksy rendered it very well in this new mural. An image of a woman veiled in mourning appeared next to the Bataclan concert hall in Paris Monday [25 June 2018], the latest attributed to the mysterious British street artist Banksy.

French Book Club - BOOK 3 UPDATE – Antoine Leiris, You Will Not Have My Hate - Banksy

You are invited to join in the French book club conversation in the comments below or here.


Image credits
1. By –
2. The Bataclan Theatre 2008 via Wikipedia
3. Bansky mural via The local

About the Contributor

Jacqueline Dubois Pasquier

After teaching for 20 years abroad, I mostly live now in Paris, where I feel both like a native and an expat. I enjoy being part of My French Life™ as it makes my life in Paris even more meaningful and special. I have a passion for literature and movies. I share my thoughts in my blog and on twitter.”

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