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

moderators adam gopnik | john r. macarthur | chad w. post | judith g. miller | lila azam zanganeh |
françoise mouly | curators olivier barrot | tom bishop |

Adam Gopnik

adam gopnik

Adam Gopnik was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Montreal where he studied at McGill University. A writer, essayist, and cultural commentator, Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986, contributing non-fiction, fiction, memoir, and criticism. His book Paris to the Moon, 2000, was a New York Times best-seller. He published an adventure story for children, The King in the Window and Through a Children’s Gate: A Home in New York. Gopnik also edited the book Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology. His latest Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (Knopf) was published in early 2009. He has twice won the National Magazine Award for Essays, as well as the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting.

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john r. macarthur

Since 1983, John R. (Rick) MacArthur has been president and publisher of Harper's Magazine, the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in America. He is also an award-winning journalist and author. Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War, was a finalist for the 1993 Mencken Award for books and won the Illinois ACLU's 1992 Harry Kalven Freedom of Expression award. More recently, he published You Can’t Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America. He writes a monthly column for the Providence Journal and, in French, for Le Devoir (Montreal) on a wide range of topics from politics to culture. In 1993 he received the Mencken Award for a New York Times op-ed column. A tireless advocate for international human rights, he founded and serves on the board of directors of the Death Penalty Information Center and the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center.

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Chad W. Post

chad w. post

Chad W. Post is the director of Open Letter Books, a relatively new press at the University of Rochester dedicated to publishing contemporary literature from around the world. He is the managing editor of Three Percent, a blog and review site that promotes literature in translation and is home to both the Translation Database and the Best Translated Book Awards. His articles and book reviews have appeared in a range of publications including The Believer, Publishing Perspectives, the Wall Street Journal culture blog, and Quarterly Conversation.

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Judith G. Miller

judith g. miller

Judith G. Miller is a Collegiate Professor in the Department of French at New York University. A specialist in French and Francophone theatre, text, translation, and production, she has written numerous books and articles especially on the works of Hélène Cixous, on Ariane Mnouchkine and the Théâtre du Soleil, and on African and Caribbean Francophone playwrights. She has also translated and staged many of these authors. Judith G. Miller is the author of Ariane Mnouchkine (Routledge, 2007), the co-editor and translator of Plays by French and Francophone Women (University of Michigan Press, 1994), and an editor of Des femmes écrivent l’Afrique: l’Afrique de l’Ouest et le Sahel (Karthala, 2007). She is a contributor to The Portable Cixous (Columbia University Press, 2009), as well as a number of journals including Yale Theatre Studies and Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. She chaired the Department of French at NYU from 2003 to 2009.

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Lila Azam Zanganeh

lila azam zanganeh

Lila Azam Zanganeh was born in Paris to Iranian parents. She moved to the United States in 1998 to teach literature, cinema and Romance languages at Harvard University. Since 2002, she is a regular contributor to Le Monde and has been published in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Nation, The Paris Review, and La Repubblica. In 2006, she edited a collection of narrative essays on Iran. Her first book, The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness, will be published in 2011 by Norton in the United States, Penguin in England, L'Olivier in France, and Contact in Holland. Lila is fluent in six languages and serves on the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee.

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Francoise Mouly

françoise mouly

Françoise Mouly is the art editor of The New Yorker and co-founder of RAW magazine (along with her husband Art Spiegelman). She is an artist and designer, edited Covering The New Yorker (Abbeville Press, 2000), a collection of cover art to commemorate the magazine’s 75th anniversary and curated an exhibition of New Yorker covers for the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA in 2005. She has worked as a colorist for Marvel Comics and founded the RAW Junior division that publishes Little Lit, anthologies of comics for children. In 2008, she launched Toon Books, a series of hardcover comic books for children.

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olivier barrot

olivier barrot curator

Olivier Barrot, a journalist, author, and television personality plays a prominent role in French cultural life. He hosts the daily literary television program "Un livre un jour" on the France 3 and TV 5 channels and directs the cultural magazine SENSO. He also teaches at Sciences-Po in Paris. The most recent of his many books, L'Ami posthume, was just published by Grasset. For the past five years he has hosted a monthly literary program entitled "French Literature in the Making" at New York University.

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tom bishop

tom bishop curator

Tom Bishop is Florence Gould Professor of French Literature and Director of the Center for French Civilization and Culture at New York University. His books include From the Left Bank. Reflections on the Modern French Theater and Novel (New York University Press, 1997), Le Passeur d’océan. Carnets d’un ami américain (Payot, 1989), and Pirandello and French Theater (New York University Press, 1960, 1970). Tom Bishop has written widely on contemporary French literature and cultural history and on the modern theater; he has focused on such major figures as Beckett, Sartre, and Robbe-Grillet. He organized several Beckett festivals, including the 2006 Paris centennial commemoration and a New York event for which he was awarded an OBIE. He was chair of NYU’s French department for 33 years.

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