You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris

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It’s a complex response to a tragic loss, and while it would be minimizing his loss and grief to call the book cathartic, it is certainly part of a response that allows him to conclude, “today, the funeral procession is over. It is toward our new life that we walk.” Courageous and inspirational, without a wasted word.
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"On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hate."

On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris during the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Three days later, Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife’s killers, which he posted on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his seventeen-month-old son’s life be defined by Hélène’s murder. He refused to let the killers have their way: “For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.” Instantly, that short Facebook post caught fire, and was reported on by newspapers and television stations all over the world. In his determination to honor the memory of his wife, he became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the Paris attacks and the grim shadow cast today by the threat of terrorism.
 
Now Leiris tells the full story of his grief and struggle. You Will Not Have My Hate is a remarkable, heartbreaking, and, indeed, beautiful memoir of how he and his baby son, Melvil, endured in the days and weeks after Hélène’s murder. With absolute emotional courage and openness, he somehow finds a way to answer that impossible question: how can I go on? He visits Hélène’s body at the morgue, has to tell Melvil that Mommy will not be coming home, and buries the woman he had planned to spend the rest of his life with.

Leiris’s grief is terrible, but his love for his family is indomitable. This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor, and a universal message of hope and resilience. Leiris confronts an incomprehensible pain with a humbling generosity and grandeur of spirit. He is a guiding star for us all in these perilous times. His message—hate will be vanquished by love—is immortal.
 

About Antoine Leiris

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Former cultural commentator for France Info and France Bleu, Antoine Leiris is a journalist in Paris. You Will Not Have My Hate is his first book.
Author Residence: Paris, France
Author Hometown: Paris, France
 
Published October 25, 2016 by Penguin Press. 144 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Jul 26 2016

It’s a complex response to a tragic loss, and while it would be minimizing his loss and grief to call the book cathartic, it is certainly part of a response that allows him to conclude, “today, the funeral procession is over. It is toward our new life that we walk.” Courageous and inspirational, without a wasted word.

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