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Ten books to read in November

Author: Jane Ciabattari
Newspaper: BBC
Date: Oct 31 2019

Lançon’s searing memoir of the attack on the satirical weekly publication Charlie Hebdo by two terrorists in Paris on 7 January, 2015, details how it cleaved his life in two. He shares his shocked vision of his dead journalistic colleagues and of his own injuries on the day of the attacks. Within weeks, Charlie’s rebuilt staff publishes a ‘resurrection’ issue, including Lançon’s account, but he is still experiencing shock and unreality, the prelude to years of recovery. Rebuilding his shattered lower face involves months in hospitals under armed guard, multiple surgeries, excruciating physical therapy and treatment for PTSD. His comforts as he adjusts to a new reality are family, close friends, literature, art and music. Lançon won the Prix Femina for this eloquent book of witness and recovery. It is translated from the French by Steven Rendall.