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Yannick Haenel

Yannick Haenel's most recent novel, Tiens ferme ta couronne (Prix Médicis in 2017) has been published by The Other Press in Spring 2019.

Yannick Haenel was born in Rennes and spent his childhood in Africa. In 1997, he cofounded the avant-garde journal for literature, Ligne de risque, with François Meyronnis. He is the author of several novels, including Introduction à la mort française and Évoluer parmi les avalanches. The Messenger, published in France under the title Jan Karski, won the Prix Interallié and the Prix du roman FNAC in 2009. His most recent novel, Tiens ferme ta couronne, was awarded the Prix Médicis in 2017, and is now out in an English translation, titled Hold Fast Your Crown.

About Hold Fast Your Crown (Gallimard 2017, The Other Press Spring 2019)

A man has written an enormous script on the life of Herman Melville: The Great Melville, which no producer will touch. One day, he gets ahold of the phone number of the great American filmmaker Michael Cimino, the mythic director of The Deer Hunter and Heaven’s Gate. A meeting takes place in New York: Cimino reads the screenplay.

What follows is a series of fantastic adventures at the Museum of Hunting and Nature in Paris, Ellis Island, and a lake in Italy. We meet Isabelle Huppert, the goddess Artemis, a Dalmatian named Sabbat, a demonic neighbor, and two seedy, mustachioed men; there’s also a pretty grad student, a devious concierge, and a very aggressive maître d’hôtel who just happens to be Emmanuel Macron’s doppelganger.

What truth flickers between cinema and literature? The comedy of our life hides a secret story; this book sets out to find it.


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