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Memories of a Literary Treasure Hunter (Souvenirs d’un chasseur de trésors littéraires)



Original Language: French | 450 pp. | September 2018

2 Seas Represents: World Excl. French


If these memoirs are fascinating (…) we retain above all the master’s vibrant advocacy for reading.  Livres Hebdo

We are captivated by the sum of all those whom he has rediscovered or reissued.  Les Echos week-end 

Funny, warm, unusual (…) an elegant ode to literature.— L’Obs

The memoirs of a top editor, lawyer and literary treasure hunter.

“Collection edited by Jean-Claude Zylberstein”. The phrase has been printed in over 20 million books. 10/18, Grands detectives, Domaine étranger, Pavillons, Texto… The prestigious collections created or edited by Jean-Claude Zylberstein all share the same idea: unearthing the international authors that have not been translated or republished. Jim Harrison, Dashiell Hammett, Robert van Gulik, Somerset Maugham, Evelyn Waugh, Primo Levi, Winston Churchill, John Fante and many other great international authors have all become classics thanks to Zylberstein’s work and exquisite literary taste.

A Jewish child in hiding during the war, his passion for reading was born in the attic of his protectors. He started out in journalism as a jazz critic for Jazz magazine and the Nouvel Observateur. He then went into publishing, putting together the complete works of Jean Paulhan, and was made an editor by Bernard de Fallois. An aesthete with an insatiable curiosity, he went on to employ his scouting talents for Christian Bourgois, Champ libre, Robert Laffont, La Découverte, Tallandier and Les Belles Lettres. In the meantime, he became one of the top rights lawyers, representing Salman Rushdie, Françoise Sagan, Ingrid Betancourt and Daft Punk, as well as numerous publishers.

Lawyer, jazz critic, editor, Jean-Claude Zylberstein never could give up one of his hats, happily transferring his poise from court to publishing house. His memoirs recount half a century in culture and publishing to present the quintessential book collection. The cache of a literary treasure hunter.