I rarely crave poetry or writing that makes me cry because of its content and prose. Normally, a short book like You Will Not Have My Hate would never pique my interest. I suppose it’s fortunate for me that I expected this book to be completely different from what it was because it was one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time.
Antoine Leiris lost his wife during the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. His book is a reflection of his grief, his coping, and his attempt to continue to live after his wife’s death. At times his book is absolutely heart-wrenching as he recounts his shock, his feelings of powerlessness. He confesses his feelings of helplessness in raising his 17-month old son who will never remember his mother; his own heartbreak is present on every page. Yet, despite the author’s grief, there is an overarching sense of hope, love, and determination.
Give yourself an afternoon to read Leiris’ book- you won’t be able to put it down and you’ll have the rare occasion to experience raw human emotion on the page.
Antoine Leiris. You Will Not Have My Hate. Translated by Sam Taylor. Penguin Press, 2016.