The five books in competition for the 2017 Prix de la Ville de Deauville. The winner will be announced on April 8 during the Festival.


Zazous - Éditions Albin Michel

You can't be serious when you're fifteen - even in the middle of the Occupation. Every day, at Café Eva, a group of zazous meet to listen to jazz. Josette, Pierre and Jean are high school students, Sarah is a hairdresser, Charlie is a trumpeter, Marie is a dancer, Lucienne is a model's apprentice. In a gloomy Paris, they follow the Zazou motto to the letter: dance swing, drink beer with grenadine, read forbidden books, wear sunglasses in all circumstances and put on long plaid jackets.
As the Germans showed their true face, these young people, who were not yet called teenagers, covered the walls of Paris with the "V" of victory, caused panic in cinemas and theaters, laid a wreath under the Arc de Triomphe on November 11, and wore the yellow star in solidarity and provocation. Hunted by the Nazis, chased by the collaborators, rejected by the Resistance, the Zazous don't so much want to "change life" as to prevent their youth from being taken away from them.
In this wide-ranging novel with musical overtones, Gérard de Cortanze plunges us into the heart of a true social fact that is too often ignored, into the daily life of a Paris at war as it had never been seen before, and makes us discover the twirling soundtrack that, from Trenet to Django Reinhardt, saved a generation from fear.


Libertango - Éditions Actes Sud

Luis was born in 1935. Of Spanish origin, he lives in Paris with his parents and sisters. Luis is handicapped, his left side does not work well, his gait is hesitant, his diction often difficult.
In this family ulcerated by the presence of a damaged child, Luis is not supported by any tutelary trust. With his ears glued to the transistor, he escaped, grew up listening, discovering the intertwining of arpeggios, the beauty of concertos, cantatas and symphonies, and each score gradually became a territory of knowledge.
At the age of twenty-one, alone on the banks of the Seine, Luis is suddenly overwhelmed by the sound of a bandoneon. His life opens up to the future.
"I was born to the purest proposal in the universe," he would later say, "that of the love of music."
Libertango is Frédérique Deghelt's most bewitching novel. A book of joy that generates and summons the emotion of beauty, that emotion that music finds in each of us, even at the worst of the war. An emotion that carries Luis and saves him.


Learning to live underwater - Christian Bourgois Editions

"There was a concert in Metz with Isaac Stern as guest soloist. I was overjoyed, I had boundless admiration for him. At the end of the concert, as dozens of people came to congratulate him, I literally pulled him by the coat-tails, he did not pay much attention to me. "What do you want, boy?" he said anyway in his sublime French tinged with Russian, English and Yiddish, the local conductor informed him, "Yes, he is young, but he already plays the violin well, you know."
"Master, could I play something for you one day? I would so like to play something for you."
After a hesitation:
"Give me your phone number - we'll see."
I thought that was it, and that he had no intention of calling me. A few days later, we were at the table in Metz for the family lunch. The phone rang. "Hello, this is Isaac Stern. If someone had told me that God had just phoned, I would not have found it more incredible."


First snow on Pondicherry - Éditions Zulma

A virtuoso violinist, as much a fan of klezmer music as of the classical repertoire, Hochea Meintzel accepts an invitation to a festival of Carnatic music in Chennai, South India. Wounded in his flesh by a terrorist attack, it is with the intention of never returning that he leaves Jerusalem.
As if magnetized by circumstances, after a bumpy ride that takes him from Pondicherry to the Malabar coast, passing through a mountain ranch on the borders of Kerala, he finds refuge in Fort Cochin, one stormy evening, in the ancient blue synagogue. Because the great prayer requires a minyan, a quorum of ten worshippers, those who are still there beg Hochea to join them. With the promise to tell him the ancestral history of the Jews of Kochi...
Carried along by the figures of Samra, his adopted daughter, and Mutuswami, the young musician who guides and accompanies him, Hochea relies on a series of coincidences, even if it means facing a hidden part of his life - and the intuition of another world, another history, another exile.
In a novelistic tour de force, Premières neiges sur Pondichéry plunges us into an extreme sensory universe, exuberant, clashing, heady, through the prism of a man who carries within him all the music of the world, and welcomes the inexorable beauty of all his senses.
"The night this time was whole, filled with stars split by veils of mist. And the final bouquet, after the last salvos, fell in scattered snow on the sea."


Wanderer - Éditions Héloïse d'Ormesson

Composer and music teacher, Hermin lives in seclusion in the Bourbonnais, absorbed in writing a Tribute to Schubert. But on a cold January evening, his studious quietude is interrupted. His former student, Lenny, a prodigious pianist, mysteriously comes knocking at his door. The two men find themselves confronted with the ghosts of their past - between musical osmosis, blindness and the expectation of a revelation.
Carried by a Schubertian melody, Wanderer is a novel of rare delicacy, a twilight adagio in the heart of winter, a subtle ode to German romanticism.


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