The French and Francophone authors coming to New York to take part in the Festival of New French Writing are among the best known writing in the French language today. They form no school, they subscribe to no single esthetic but they all share a deep commitment to literature itself and a profound engagement with the world in which they live.

Their concerns are not alien to the American writers who have agreed to enter into conversations with their French counterparts. They, too, come from multiple cultural and intellectual traditions and, like their transatlantic colleagues, they view the world with anxiety.

The conversations between French and American authors, assisted by eminent New York-based American and French critics and journalists aim to present a view of the state of French writing today as well as contrasts with fiction and non-fiction writing in the United States, and an outlook on the future of literature.


French AuthorsAmerican AuthorsModerators

jane kramer | mark lilla | a. m. homes | rick moody | arthur phillips | russell banks | ben katchor |

Jane Kramer

jane kramer

Journalist Jane Kramer is the European correspondent for The New Yorker; for which she has written the regular Letter from Europe since 1981. Many of her articles have been collected in three books: Unsettling Europe (1980); Europeans (1988), which won the Prix Européen de l’Essai “Charles Veillon” and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction; and The Politics of Memory: Looking for Germany in the New Germany (1996). She is a recipient of the American Book Award and National Magazine Award. Kramer is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. She has taught at Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Works
Off Washington Square: A Reporter Looks at Greenwich Village, N.Y., Duell, Sloan & Pierce, 1963
The Last Cowboy, Harper & Row, 1977
Unsettling Europe, Random House, 1980
Europeans, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1988
Whose Art Is It, Duke University Press, 1994
The Politics of Memory: Looking for Germany in the New Germany, Random House, 1996

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Mark Lilla

mark lilla

Mark Lilla is an essayist and currently Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, after having taught at the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought and New York University.   He has written and lectured widely on modern European thought and contemporary politics, and is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the New York Times.  Among his awards are the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study.  He is a founding editor of the New French Thought series at Princeton University Press and his most recent book, The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2007 and has recently appeared in French translation as Le dieu mort-né (Le Seuil).


Selected Works
The Public Face of Architecture: Civic Culture and Public Spaces, Free Press, 1987
G.B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-modern, Harvard University Press, 1994
New French Thought: Political Philosophy, Princeton University Press, 1994
The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin, New York Review Books, 2001
The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals and Politics, New York Review Books, 2001 
The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West, Knopf, 2007

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A. M. Homes

a. m. homes

A.M. Homes is the author most recently of the bestselling memoir The Mistress’s Daughter. She is also the author of the novels This Book Will Save Your Life, Music for Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the short-story collections, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, the travel memoir, Los Angeles: People, Places and The Castle on the Hill, and the artist’s book Appendix A. Homes’ work has been translated into eighteen languages and appears frequently in Art Forum, Harpers, Granta, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Zoetrope. She is a Contributing Editor to Vanity Fair, Bomb and Blind Spot. She was a writer/producer of the television show The L Word and has adapted several of her novels into films. Homes is the recipient of numerous awards including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, NYFA, and The Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library, along with the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.

Selected Works
The End of Alice, Scribner, 1996
This Book Will Save Your Life Viking, 2006
The Safety of Objects, Perennial, 1990
Things You Should Know, Harper Collins, 2002
The Mistress's Daughter, Viking, 2007

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Rick Moody

rick moody

Rick Moody is the author of the novels Garden State, which won the Pushcart Press Editors’ Book Award, The Ice Storm, adapted into an acclaimed feature film directed by Ang Lee, Purple America, and The Diviners; two collections of stories, The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven and Demonology; and a memoir, The Black Veil, winner of the PEN/ Martha Albrand Award. He has received the Addison Metcalf Award, the Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Moody was a member of the board of directors of the Corporation of Yaddo from 1999 to 2004 and from 2005 to 2006 he was secretary of the PEN American Center. He also co-founded the Young Lions Book Award at the New York Public Library. Rick Moody has taught at the State University of New York at Purchase, the Bennington College Writing Seminars, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the New York Writers Institute, and the New School for Social Research.

Selected works
Garden State: A Novel, Pushcart Press, 1992
The Ice Storm,Little Brown & Co., 1994
The Diviners, Little Brown & Co., 2005
The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions, Little Brown & Co., 2002
Right Livelihoods: Three Novellas, Little Brown & Co., 2007
The Four Fingers of Death: A Novel, Little Brown & Co., 2010

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Arthur Phillips

arthur phillips

Arthur Phillips was born in Minneapolis and educated at Harvard. He has been a child actor, a jazz musician, a speechwriter, a self-proclaimed "dismally failed entrepreneur," and a five-time Jeopardy! champion. His first novel, Prague (set in Budapest, despite its title), was named a New York Times Notable Book, and received The Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum Award for best first novel. His second novel, The Egyptologist, was an international bestseller, and was on more than a dozen "Best of 2004" lists. Angelica (2007) and The Song Is You (2009) continued to make different "best" lists. Phillips's work has been translated into twenty-five languages, and is the source of three films currently in development. His fifth novel, The Tragedy of Arthur, will be published by Random House in April.

Selected Works
Prague, Random House, 2002
The Egyptologist, Random House, 2004
Angelica, Random House, 2007
The Song Is You, Random House, 2009
The Tragedy of Arthur, forthcoming 2011

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Russell Banks

russell banks

Russell Banks’ work has been translated into twenty languages and earned numerous honors and awards including the John Dos Passos Prize for fiction and the Laure Bataillon prize for best work of fiction translated into French. His titles include The Sweet Hereafter, Cloudsplitter, The Angel on the Roof, Rule of the Bone and Dreaming Up America, among many others. A member of the International Parliament of Writers, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and former New York State Author (2004-2008), he is also the founder and President of Cities of Refuge North America. Banks has contributed poems, stories, and essays to The Boston Globe Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Harper’s and numerous other publications. Two of his novels, The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction, have been made into award-winning films. Banks’s novel The Darling will be directed by Martin Scorsese and star Cate Blanchett. His latest novel, The Lost Memory of Skin, will be released in fall 2011.

Selected Works
Trailerpark, Harper Perennial, 1981
Continental Drift, Harper Perennial, 1985
Affliction, Harper Perennial, 1989 
The Sweet Hereafter, Harper Perennial, 1991
The Darling, Harper Perennial, 2004
Dreaming up America, Seven Stories Press, 2008
(Amérique notre histoire, Actes Sud, 2006)
Lost Memory of Skin, forthcoming 2011

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Ben Katchor

ben katchor

Ben Katchor's picture-stories and drawings have appeared in Forward, Metropolis magazine ,and The New Yorker. His weekly strips include: Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, The Jew of New York, The Cardboard Valise, Hotel & Farm and most recently Shoehorn Technique. He received Guggenheim Fellowship and MacArthur Fellowships and was a fellow at The American Academy in Berlin and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Katchor's libretto and drawings for The Carbon Copy Building, a collaboration with Bang on a Can, received an Obie Award for Best New American Work. More recently he collaborated with musician Mark Mulcahy on The Rosenbach Company, a sung-through musical biography of Abe Rosenbach, the preeminent 20th century rare-book dealer, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, which won an Obie Award in 2008, and A Checkroom Romance. He is an Associate Professor at the Parsons School for Design.

Selected Works
Picture Story 2, self-published, 1986
Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay, Penguin, 1991
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, Little, Brown & Co., 1996
The Jew of New York, Pantheon, 1998
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District, Pantheon, 2000
The Cardboard Valise, Pantheon, forthcoming 2011

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