The People in the Photo

Front Cover
Gallic Books, 2014 - Fiction - 270 pages
21 Reviews

"Every note of the characters' correspondence rings true."—Le Nouvel Observateur

"A page-turning novel with a skilfully woven plot."—Page des Libraires

"Rich in deftly turned prose and subtle character study."—Sud-Ouest

"A wonderful book about the archaeology of memory."—Le Magazine Littéraire

"Elegant, restrained, and poetic."—France Inter

The three figures in the photograph are frozen forever, two men and a woman bathed in sunlight . . .

The chance discovery of a newspaper image from 1971 sets two people on the path to learning the disturbing truth about their parents' pasts.

Parisian archivist Hélène takes out a newspaper advert calling for information about her mother, who died when she was three, and the two men pictured with her in a photograph taken at a tennis tournament at Interlaken in 1971. Stéphane, a Swiss biologist living in Kent, responds: his father is one of the people in the photo. Letters and more photos pass between them as they embark on a journey to uncover the truth their parents kept from them. But will the relics of the past fill the silences left by the players?

Winner of fifteen literary awards, this dark yet touching drama deftly explores the themes of blame and forgiveness, identity and love.

Hélène Gestern lives and works in Nancy, France. The People in the Photo is her first novel.

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Review: The People in the Photo

User Review  - Tim Diggles - Goodreads

I enjoyed this book, especially the way of telling the story through letters and diaries. The past being seen through the present. However, it needed to be a lot darker, the plot held few surprises ... Read full review

Review: The People in the Photo

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

When Helene's stepmother dies (her father already dead) she discovers a picture of her biological mother and two men among her personal effects. Curious about her mother who died when Helene was very ... Read full review

About the author (2014)

Hélène Gestern: Hélène Gestern lives and works in Nancy. The People in the Photo is her first novel.

Emily Boyce: Emily Boyce is in-house translator for Gallic Books. She lives in London.

Ros Schwartz: Ros Schwartz is an award-winning literary translator. She has translated a range of contemporary fiction and non-fiction from authors as diverse as Ousmane Sembène, Sébastien Japrisot, Jacqueline Harpman, Yasmina Khadra and Aziz Chouaki. Her non-fiction work includes articles and books by researchers at Sciences-Po, Paris, film commentaries for the National Film Theatre and art catalogues for a number of European museums. She gives regular seminars at UK universities and had published several articles on literary translation.

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