Hold Fast Your Crown (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Yannick Haenel, Teresa Fagan (Translated by)

Other Press, 9781590519752, 336pp.

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

List Price: 25.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An exasperated writer obsessed with American cinema embarks on an increasingly bizarre journey in this heady, engrossing novel.

A man writes an enormous screenplay on the life of Herman Melville. Not a single producer is interested in it. One day, someone gives him the phone number of the great American filmmaker Michael Cimino, legendary director of The Deer Hunter and Heaven's Gate. A meeting is arranged in New York, and Cimino reads the manuscript. What follows is a series of crazy adventures through Ellis Island, the Musée de la Chasse in Paris, a lake in Italy.

We run into Isabelle Huppert, Diana the hunting goddess, a Dalmatian named Sabbat, a diabolical neighbor, and two shady characters with conspicuous mustaches. There's also a pretty PhD student, an unpleasant concierge, and an aggressive maître d' who looks like Emmanuel Macron...

This improbable, insightful tale bridges the divide between cinema and literature in unexpected ways that are at once gratifying and profound.

About the Author

Yannick Haenel 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.In Paris in 1997, he cofounded the avant-garde literary journal Ligne de risque.

Teresa Lavender Fagan is a freelance translator. She has published more than a dozen book-length translations, including Jean Bottéro's The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia and Catherine Cusset's Life of David Hockney, forthcoming from Other Press.

Praise For Hold Fast Your Crown: A Novel

“Crazy, brilliant, addictive, and darkly poetic.” —Le Figaro

“Wonderfully mad.” —Le Parisien

“A wild novel, a blaze of astounding images.” —L'Obs