Bataclan widower's 'defiant' memoir to Harvill Secker

Bataclan widower's 'defiant' memoir to Harvill Secker

A Bataclan widower's memoir is to be published by Harvill Secker ahead of the first anniversary of the Paris attacks in October.

You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris will publish on 27th October 2016. Liz Foley, publishing director at Harvill Secker, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Carole Saudejaud at Fayard.

Leiris’s wife, Hélène (below left), was killed, along with 89 other people at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, when three men armed with guns and suicide bombs opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd at a rock concert.

Three days later, Antoine wrote an open letter addressed to his wife’s killers, which he published on Facebook. In it he said to the assailants who "stole the love of my life, the mother of my son" he would not give them the "gift of hating you".

It continued: "We are two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world." His post was shared over 200,000 times and was reported on all over the world.

You Will Not Have My Hate is described by his publishers as "an extraordinary and heartbreaking memoir", about how Leiris, and his son Melvil, endured after Hélène’s murder, articulated "with courage, moral acuity, and absolute emotional honesty".

Liz Foley, publishing director at Harvill Secker, said: "It is an extreme act of generosity on Antoine Leiris’ part to have gone through the pain of writing about his loss to give us this amazing book. From the moment we started discussing it here at Harvill Secker and Vintage we have talked about it as a talisman against the hate and fear that is both outside and inside all of us in these troubled times. It is both a love story and a source of consolation and hope."

Altogether 130 people died and 368 were injured, 99 seriously, in the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13th November, which also took place at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis and at cafés, restaurants in central Paris. Those whose who lost their lives included two young French editors. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility.