Face au mur

Cesare Battisti


Face au mur

Release date : 07/03/2012

Category : Essay

Format : 21 x 14 cm

Price : 19,50 €

ISBN : 978-2-08-127998-8

Pages : 264 pages

Cesare Battisti is not  ‘a man without a past’, unlike the narrator of his latest book, whose reasons for flight shall remain unknown forever. And he is also a great writer.

Here two narratives intermingle : one of a man on the run, who relates several months spent in Rio in the shadow of a woman and another, delivered by the same man from the prison where he is incarcerated, a narrative fuelled by the confessions of his fellow inmates. 

This book reads like a great romance coupled with suspense. Since his arrival in Brazil, the narrator knows that he is being spied on.

He even guesses that it is the police who placed in his path the young and beautiful Janaïna, with whom he develops a relationship that becomes physical from its very start. Then love insinuates itself between them like a foreign body. And deliberately, the narrator decides to continue, to live this story until the end, even if it puts his life at risk. This love, its dark and melancholic beauty, resonates in each of us : aren’t there moments in one’s life when choosing to succumb to seduction is a question of life and death, when only wilful blindness can enable to feel “alive” at last? These were probably the thoughts that crossed Truffaut’s mind when he was filming Mississippi Mermaid…


Cesare Battisti was born in 1954. He was just over twenty when he joined the armed struggle with the PAC (Armed Proletarians for Communism). Sentenced to life imprisonment in his country, he found refuge in France and then, threatened with extradition to Italy ,he flew to Brazil, where he was arrested in 2007, jailed and then liberated last June. He has published countless detective novels including Avenida Revolucion, Les Dernières Cartouches (Rivages/Noir), Buena Onda and Les Habits d'ombre (Gallimard/Série Noire), drawn partly on his personal itinerary, between political activist and fugitive.



• An unexpected Battisti: away from the crime novel or fugitive tale, a “story of love and darkness” under high voltage.

• A lavish and vivid rendition of Brazil, depicted through some unforgettable men and women: Cruel, Zeca, Ignacio, Sandra, and others, confide in the narrator, and their stories are like “windows opened on Brazil” that the author, in turn, shares with us. 

Contact detail for copyrights

Institution name :
Contact name :
Florence Giry

Contact Information

Address :
87, quai Panhard-et-Levassor

75647 Paris Cedex 13

Country :
Email :
Tel :
+33 (0)1 40 51 31 00
Website :