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April 9, 2019


#Prix Fémina 2018 Phillipe Lançon

by N@ncy



  1. January 7  2015  during a editorial meeting at  Charlie Hebdo
  2. terrorists entered the room and killed 12 people and injuring 11.
  3. Phillipe Lançon, journalist, was shot in the face left in critical condition.
  4. Lançon reveals that he did not write the book in order to surivive.
  5. He wrote it years later when he felt his life was settled.
  6. The surgeon adviced him to  ‘revenir à la normale’
  7. ….but that is easier said than done.
  8. The title says it all: Le Lambeau
  9. All that is left of me is shreds”



  1. 30% of the book is a description of the days before the attack
  2. …the attack itself and how his brother took charge and
  3. helped him pick up the pieces.
  4. 30 % is about the long and painful
  5. reconstruction of his face.
  6. 40% is about Lançon’s physical and mental decline
  7. …balanced between healing and hope.
  8. The first 8 chapters are gripping.
  9. It is surreal to read the dream like quality of if
  10. Lançon’s first impressions after the attack as he
  11. …lay in a swamp of blood.
  12. The text is so emotional.
  13. The second half of the book concentrates on
  14. the reconstruction of the author’s jaw
  15. …and the close connection he feels for his surgeon Cholé.
  16. An important part of the book is Lançon’s  style of
  17. interlacing his life after the attack with literature.
  18. He often refers to Proust, Kafka and Shakespeare
  19. …and several books that are important for him.


Last thoughts:

  1. This book reminded me of
  2. Dante’s journey into the inferno:
  3. “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
  4. I wouldn’t say a hospital is comparable to Hell
  5. …but no one likes going there.
  6. The book is draining because you follow
  7. the author in a labryinth of his PTSS mind.
  8. There is a mixture of facts, hallucinations and dreams.
  9. He sees his parents suffer
  10. …but he does not suffer.
  11. He is the suffering.
  12. very existential at times.
  13. Because Lançon  shares so much with the reader
  14. ..the book is long.
  15. You have to persevere to finish it.
  16. The epilogue….was confronting.
  17. The Bataclan attack occured only 10 months
  18. …after Charlie Hebdo on 13 November 2015
  19. This event shook Lançon to the core.
  20. #IntenseReadingExperience


Phillipe Lançon.…after the trauma of the attack and jaw recontruction.

Read more from French, non-fiction

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