Here is the five books competing for the 2014 Prize of the City of Deauville. The laureate’s name will be communicated on April 8th during the Festival.


Zazous - Éditions Albin Michel

You are not serious when you are just fifteen – even during the military Occupation. Every day, at the Eva cafeteria, a gang of zazous meet and listen to some jazz. Josette, Pierre and Jean are A level students, Sarah is a hairdresser, Charlie is a trumpet player, Marie is a dancer and Lucienne an apprentice model. In a gloomy Paris, they strictly comply with the zazous’ principles: dancing swing music, drinking grenadine beer, reading forbidden books, getting sunglasses at all times and wearing large checked jackets.
As the Germans start showing their true colours, these young people that aren’t teenagers yet, cover the walls of Paris with the “V” for victory, spread panic in the cinema halls and theatres, leave a spray of flowers on November 11th under the Arc de Triomphe, wear, as an act of solidarity and provocation, the yellow badge. Tracked by the Nazis, pursued by the collaborators, rejected by the Resistance, the zazous fight to save their youth.
Through a great novel reminding a musical, Gérard de Cortanze takes us straight to the heart of a real social condition that was too often ignored, to the daily life of a war-torn Paris, and makes us discover the amazing soundtrack that, ranging from Trenet to Django Reinhardt, saved a whole generation from fear.


Libertango - Éditions Actes Sud

Luis, of Spanish origin, was born in 1935 and now lives in Paris with his parents and his sisters. Luis is disabled, his left side does not work properly, his moves are uncertain, his diction often difficult.
In this family that seems affected by the presence of a disabled child, nobody takes care of him. Constantly listening to the radio, he escapes, he grows up, and he discovers the play scales, the beauty of concertos, cantatas and symphonies, and he starts mastering any partitions.
At the age of 21, alone on the Seine’s banks, Luis is suddenly upset by the sound of a bandoneon. His life opens up to the future.
“I was born for the purest aim of the universe”, he would say later, “love for music.”
Libertango is the most enchanting novel of Frédérique Deghelt. A book full of happiness generating the emotion for beauty, the same emotion that music can develop in each of us, even in a war scenario. This emotion comforts Luis and saves him.


Apprendre à vivre sous l'eau - Éditions Christian Bourgois

“There was in Metz a concert with, as invited soloist, Isaac Stern. I was mad of joy; I felt an unwavering admiration for him. At the end of the concert, when dozens of people came to congratulate him, I was trying to attract his attention, but he wasn’t really paying attention to me. “What do you want, boy?”, said him in his excellent French tinged with Russian, English and Yiddish notes. The local head said to him: “Yes, he is young, but he already plays violin very well, you know.”
“Master, could I ever play something for you? I would really love to play something.”
And he said, after a pause:
“Give me your phone number, we’ll see.”
I thought that it was over, and that he didn’t really want to call me back. Some days later, I was out eating with my family when the phone rang. “Hello, Isaac Stern speaking.” It was as if God was about to call.”


Premières neiges sur Pondichéry - Éditions Zulma

Hochéa Meintzel, great violinist and passionate for klezmer and classic music, accepts the invitation of a Festival of Carnatic music in Chennai, in the Southern India. Personally injured in a terror attack, he decided to leave Jerusalem forever.
Attracted by the circumstances and after an impressive adventure leading him from Pondichéry to the Malabar Coast, through a mountain ranch at the border with Kerala, he finds a shelter at Fort Cochin, during a night of storm, in the ancient blue synagogue. As the great prayer needs a minyan, a quorum of ten believers, Hochéa is asked to join the prayer. In exchange, he will be told the ancestral story of the Cochin Jews…
Accompanied by the characters of Samra, his adopted daughter, and Mutuswami, the young musician guiding and accompanying him, Hochéa relies on coincidences and starts to deal with a hidden part of his life – and the perspective of another world, another history, another exile.
Through a novel-like adventure, “Premières neiges sur Pondichéry” take us to an extreme, exuberant, jerky, heady sensorial universe, through the prism of a man combining all the music of the world, and welcomes the inexorable beauty of all senses.


Wanderer - Éditions Héloïse d'Ormesson

Hermin, composer and music master, lives isolated in the Bourbonnais region, absorbed by the writing of a tribute to Schubert. But in a gloomy January evening, his hard-working calm is interrupted. His former pupil Lenny, a piano genius, mysteriously knocks on his door. The two men are then obliged to face the ghosts of their past – among music osmosis, blindness and expectation of a revelation.
Following the melodies of Schubert, Wanderer is a delicate novel, a crepuscular adagio in the middle of winter, a subtle ode to the German Romanticism.