Nominated by:

Bibliothèques Municipales, Genéve, Switzerland

Katona József Library of Bács-Kiskun County, Kecskemét, Hungary

Publisher of nominated edition:

Haus Publishing, UK

Léon and Louise

Alex Capus      

Translated from the original German by John Brownjohn

2014 Longlist

A life-long love affair that survives the tribulations of two World Wars, Léon and Louise tells the story of Alex Capus’ French grandfather. It charmed readers in Germany, where it sold nearly two hundred thousand copies and, in the year following publication, never left the Der Spiegel bestseller list.

Summer 1918. The First World War is drawing to a close when Léon falls in love with Louise Janvier. Both are severely wounded by German artillery fire, are separated, and believe each other to be dead. Briefly reunited two decades later, the lovers are torn apart again by Louise’s refusal to destroy Léon’s marriage and the German invasion of France. Through occupied Paris during the Second World War, where Léon struggles against the abhorrent tasks imposed on him by the SS, and the wilds of Africa, where Louise confronts the hardships of her primitive environment, they battle the vicissitudes of history and the passage of time for the survival of their love.

Léon and Louise’s is an enduring passion and an enchanting tale of love’s triumph against improbable odds. It is a story masterfully told. Alex Capus’ poetic, understated language is beautifully translated by John Brownjohn.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Alex Capus (born France, 1961) is a French-Swiss novelist who writes in German. He studied History, Philosopy and Anthropology at Basel University before embarking on a career in journalism. He published his first novel Munzinger Pascha in 1997. His translated works include Sailing by Starlight: In Search of Treasure Island and A Matter of Time. Léon and Louise was recently longlisted for the German Book Prize.

Librarian’s Comments

This story is based on Alex Capus’ grandfather’s life. We liked the everlasting love, shared by people who couldn’t fight it, but assumed their involvements. The writing is very sensitive and touching.

Léon and Louise’s is an enduring passion and an enchanting tale of love’s triumph against improbable odds. It is a story masterfully told.

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