On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris s wife, Helene Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Read more...
On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris s wife, Helene Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in 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 Helene 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 Hateis a remarkable, heartbreaking, and, indeed, beautiful memoir of how he and his baby son, Melvil, endured in the days and weeks after Helene 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 Helene 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 eternal."
- ISBN-13: 9780735222113
- ISBN-10: 0735222118
- Publisher: Penguin Press
- Publish Date: October 2016
- Page Count: 144
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds
A profound message from Paris
On November 13, 2015, the world watched with shock and sorrow as terror erupted at several sites in Paris, including the Bataclan Theater where at least 89 people were killed. Among the dead was Hélène Muyal-Leiris, whose husband, Antoine Leiris, was at home watching their 17-month-old son. Leiris soon posted a Facebook message to the attackers that went viral, beginning, “On Friday night, you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hate.”
You Will Not Have My Hate is his account of the immediate days after the attack as he struggled to make sense of his loss. Leiris’ slim memoir is a portrait of raw grief, of trying to keep one’s head above water in a world that no longer makes sense. His son, Melvil, became an anchor amid the tragedy, providing a need for daily routine that kept his father moving forward. The author describes the heartbreak of seeing his wife one last time in the mortuary, the beauty of his son’s innocent smile, and how he sat down at his computer one afternoon to write his famous post: “House, lunch, diaper, pajamas, nap, computer. The words continue to arrive. They come on their own, considered, weighed, but without me having to summon them. They come to me.”
His account ends with Hélène’s funeral and his subsequent visit to her grave with his toddler, as they bravely “go on living alone, without the aid of the star to whom they swore allegiance.”
The book reaffirms Leiris’ profound message that he will raise his son to “defy [the attackers] by being happy and free. Because [they] will not have his hate either.”