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  • Published: 2 April 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099498285
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $27.99

Bad Faith

A History of Family and Fatherland

The story of one of history's most despicable villians told by a brilliant author - shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

Bad Faith tells the story of one of history's most despicable villains and conmen - Louis Darquier, Nazi collaborator and 'Commissioner for Jewish Affairs', who dissembled his way to power in the Vichy government and was responsible for sending thousands of children to the gas chambers. After the war he left France, never to be brought to justice.

Early on in his career Louis married the alcoholic Myrtle Jones from Tasmania, equally practised in the arts of fantasy and deception, and together they had a child, Anne whom they abandoned in England. Her tragic story is woven through the narrative.

In Carmen Callil's masterful, elegiac and sometimes darkly comic account, Darquier's rise during the years leading up to the Second World War mirrors the rise of French anti-Semitism. Epic, haunting, the product of extraordinary research, this is a study in powerlessness, hatred and the role of remembrance.

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

  • Published: 2 April 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099498285
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $27.99

About the author

Carmen Callil

Carmen Callil was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, but has spent most of her career in the United Kingdom. She founded Virago Press in 1973 and in 1982 became Managing Director of Chatto & Windus, also remaining Chair of Virago until 1995, when she retired from both publishing houses. She co-edited, with Colm Tóibín, The Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English since 1950, and her first book, Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award.

Also by Carmen Callil

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Praise for Bad Faith

The story she has uncovered is so strange and powerful that it would be an unusual reader who was not profoundly moved

Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

A work of phenomenally thorough, generous and humane scholarship....Callil understands anguish, and lays bare its causes with clarity and precision. Bad Faith exemplifies what Primo Levi called the 'continuous intellectual and moral effort' that is the only adequate response to the events described here

Hilary Spurling, Daily Telegraph

Bad Faith is a book of passion and anger which, nonetheless, manages to keep it's head as a significant work of history

Mark Bostridge, Independent on Sunday

We cannot know what Anne Darquier would have thought of Callil's book, but my guess is that she would have been as moved, astonished and impressed as any other reader

Ruth Scurr, The Times

Extraordinary...touching... a masterpiece of lacerating satire

Peter Conrad, Observer

In providing such a detailed picture of one of the functionaries of the Nazi empire, Callil has brilliantly shown how such a system could encourage and promote nonentities who were prepared to mouth the necessary phrases, and to ignore the call of humanity

Richard Griffiths, New Statesman

Bad Faith represents eight years of astonishing research...a remarkable book

Antony Beevor, Sunday Telegraph

Astonishing book

Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

A meticulous work of scholarship... [an] astonishing biography

Adam Thorpe, Guardian

A superb exploration of the fractured mind of French anti-Semitism

Simon Heffer, Literary Review

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