Retour à Salem
One afternoon in Hamburg, after a day of rehearsing Brahms, Hélène Grimaud enters a rather strange antique shop. The manuscript she finds there, and the scores and etchings inside it, quickly turn out to echo her own concerns for the suffering world.
The manuscript’s translation appears to her by fragments, calling to her ability to decipher what lies beyond ordinary reality. The signature is a pseudonym often used by Johannes Brahms, the etchings are by Max Klinger, and all are dedicated to Brahms. The extraordinary prophecies it contains will take her on a journey where the heroes are wolves, extinct animals, and our desecrated planet, and where music is, perhaps, the ultimate recourse.
Via historical investigation, fantastic tale, or links to recent scientific discoveries, Hélène Grimaud takes many routes to stimulate our imagination. The course of events will lead to her decision to leave Europe for the United States. South Salem, the refuge of her wolves, is where she wants to renew, with them, her fight against the destruction of nature.
Fantastic tale? Autobiography? This book, so close to the German Romantics with its dreamlike qualities, takes us into a vertigo of reality and fiction. Every life can and must be so dazzling.
Retour à Salem was released on 7th October, 2013 in French by the French publisher Albin Michel. Translation to German and Italian is currently under way. For more information, please visit the Albin Michel website.