Dear IPEM Friends,
In 2009, Jean-Michel Guenassia published “Le Club des Incorrigibles Optimistes”. The novel had an extraordinary popular success in France, which is regularly ranked as the most pessimistic country in the developed world, only surpassed by Iraq and Afghanistan in the world moaners championship. This refreshing book tells the story of 12-years old Michel who is growing up in Paris in the late 50s. The boy develops a genuine passion for literature and a strong friendship with a group of East-European immigrants that play chess in the smokey room of a café – the self-called “Club of the Incorrigible Optimists”. These men from Hungary, Russia, Romania, Poland… have all left their countries and their families in the tragic circumstances of the WWII and the descent of the iron curtain. But they took and kept with them an amazing stamina and optimism.