Already a runaway bestseller in France and now published in a superb debut translation by author and actor Molly Ringwald, Lie With Me is award-winning author Philippe Besson’s masterpiece. Hailed as a ‘French Brokeback Mountain’, Besson’s semi-autobiographical novel is an intensely moving story of coming of age, memory and a first love that – devastatingly – dares not speak its name.
Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe, a famous writer, chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back to Philippe's teenage years, to a winter morning in 1984, a small French high school, and a carefully timed encounter between two seventeen-year-olds. It's the start of a secret, intensely passionate, world-altering love affair between Philippe and his classmate, Thomas.
Dazzlingly rendered by Molly Ringwald, the acclaimed actor and writer, in her first-ever translation, Besson's exquisitely moving coming-of-age story captures the tenderness of first love - and the heart-breaking passage of time.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 133 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 9 mm
'A beautiful, shattering novel about desire and shame, about passionate youth and the regrets of age.' - Olivia Laing, bestselling author of Crudo and The Lonely City
'A stunning and heart-gripping tale.' - Andre Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name
'An intense, unforgettable novel, alive with the ache of longing and loss.' - Sarah Waters, bestselling, award-winning author of The Little Stranger
'It has been years since anything moved me as much as Lie With Me. It will become a classic.' - Jonathan Coe, bestselling author of Middle England
'A deeply moving depiction of first love, both tender and elegiac.' - John Boyne, bestselling author of A Ladder to the Sky
'A timeless love story. Molly Ringwald's translation is as clear and beautiful as the story it depicts. You'll read it in a night, but its exquisite heartbreak will linger.' - David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl
'The uncanny thrill of Philippe Besson's Lie With Me rises up from Molly Ringwald's elegant translation with the intensity of meeting a stranger on a train who tells you a single unforgettable story and then leaves. And his voice haunts me still.' - Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel and The Queen of the Night
'An elegiac tale of first, hidden love between two teenage boys who have no chance of a shared future, "Lie with Me" sold more than a hundred thousand copies in France, where it won several prizes and is being made into a movie.' - Lauren Collins, New Yorker
'Lie With Me is an exquisite whisper that lingers long after you've finished reading it.' - Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians
'Devastating and tender; this is the book I wish I'd read when I was 15, and a book I'm glad to have as a companion now.' - Andrew McMillan, award-winning author of Physical
'A lovely novel, a painful story of love and loss. . . Lie with Me succeeds as a novel because of Besson's graceful writing, beautifully translated by Ringwald. Besson is a gifted stylist, and he infuses Philippe's story with the right notes of sadness and longing.' - NPR
'This gorgeous, aching novel captures all of the fear and freedom of young desire. . . may well be the best gay love story in contemporary fiction. I dare you to read it without crying.' - Christopher Bollen, author of The Destroyers
'This is a gorgeous fever dream of a book. Ringwald's translation does elegant justice to Besson's balance of beauty and despair, and to his interrogations of memory and longing. Lie With Me positively glows in the dark.' - Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers
'A bittersweet love story, told from the perspective of a gay man remembering his first romantic affair as a teenager in a small town in the south of France in 1984.' - Wall Street Journal
'At first erotic and joyous, ultimately elegiac and haunting, Lie With Me is a deceptively slender book as big as life itself.' - Rumaan Alam, author of That Kind of Mother and Rich and Pretty
'In spare yet evocative prose, elegantly translated by Molly Ringwald, Philippe Besson relates the erotic awakening of two adolescent boys in a small French town in the 1980s. Lie With Me captures their world with the grainy poignancy of an old high school yearbook, while movingly conveying the quintessential human dramas of longing, love, and letting go.' - Caroline Weber, author of Proust's Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-siecle Paris
'The French Brokeback Mountain.' - Elle
'A man looks back at his first love, a forbidden homosexual affair during his last year of high school in a small French town in the 1980s. Though a screenwriter and playwright, Mr. Besson does not rely on direct dialogue but reconstructs conversations from a fog of memories in this coming-of-age story. A French best seller likened to "Call Me By Your Name" and "Brokeback Mountain" the novel marks the first English translation by the actress and writer Ms. Ringwald, a longtime Francophile.' - Wall Street Journal, The 10 Books You'll Want to Read This Spring
'Molly Ringwald translated this French Call Me By Your Name-esque novel about two teenagers in 1984 Bordeaux as they fall in love in the shadows, leaving one of them to reflect on the relationship many years later.' - OprahMag.com, 30 of the Best LGBTQ Books in 2019
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