The French Father
By Alain Elkann
A highly successful businessman and a Surrealist artist converse in the afterlife
The French Father centres on a dialogue between two men buried alongside each other in the Parisian cemetery of Montparnasse – now companions in the afterlife. One man, the author's father, is strict, upper middle class, and a firm believer in the values and principles of the grande bourgeoisie. The other is the artist Roland Topor, screenwriter of Polanski's The Tenant – unconventional, exuberant and creative. Elkann finds harmony in the clashing proximity of his stern father and the unruly artist. What might have been a story of grief becomes one of peaceful vitality united through a shared inheritance and faith.
Translated by Alastair McEwen
Cover illustration by Gustave Caillebotte
Published 01 December 2012