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“Requiem for the young friend” by Gilles Leroy

Let us put everything in its place: the word “requiem” means for the Larousse: “prayer of the Catholic Church for the dead; mass for a deceased”.

Gilles Leroy, did he want to do a mass for his raped and killed friend whose pain even silences the first name until the last pages of the book? I would say no. I would say that he simply wanted to convey to us in the pages of his memory book all the beautiful promises, all the desire, all the beauty of a future that he and his friend were waiting for since at the time of her death , they were both barely twenty years old….

Two young people from elsewhere meet in Paris in the 70s and both do not really know what their future will be. They dance, they laugh. They talk to each other a lot while walking in the streets of Paris at night.

The story is simple, but God his writing is magnetic! As with his work “Alabama song”, Gilles Leroy’s writing is like a brush on a canvas.

Barely touching the board with pastel colors. Gilles Leroy draws the friendship of two young people who had found each other in their vision of life.

He remembers her only through “impressionist” words (yes this term is quite exact and means “which is not rigorous, which is based only on intuitions”).

This book is also a message (IMHO). A message to tell us: “let us love each other alive before death do us part”. This is what Gilles Leroy did. He loved her with a universal love. With time and death, he sublimated her, his friend… Agathe by offering her the most beautiful of reminiscences: a book for a shroud.


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