The Book I Didn’t Want to Write

The Book I Didn’t Want to Write

$24.95 USD / $31.95 CDN
Author:
“Literature doesn’t stop bullets. On the other hand, it can stop a finger from pressing a trigger. Maybe. It’s a bet worth making.” Erwan Larher was enjoying a rock concert in Paris’s Bataclan Theater on November 13, 2015, when the firing started. By the time it ended, 89 people were dead and more than 400 others—included Larher—had been wounded. In this genre-bending, deeply moving and unexpected memoir, he reflects on what the gruesome terror attack meant. The Book I Didn’t Want to Write transcends bearing witness. Larher’s voice is intertwined with others—his partner, his father, two friends who were going to come but didn’t—to create a deeply moving collective chronicle of the most violent night in French history since WWII. He recounts not only how such an act affected him and his loved ones, but the thousands who lived through that night, the millions who followed the event through media, and even the attackers themselves. “You were in the wrong place at the wrong time; you’re a miracle, not a victim,” Larher writes. Never self-pitying, his approach is both stoic and bold, fitting for one of France’s most beloved rock-n-roll novelist with a suitably gritty look at the world and at words. He sets out to “write around because you are a novelist and not a chronicler, because you can only shape a text by appeasing literature.” The Book I Didn’t Want To Write achieves what few books can—it reminds us of life’s emotional and artistic depths, even in the face of tragedy. It is a masterful slap in the face and a hymn to life. Read more →