At the end of the month, we have the pleasure of welcoming the writer Christophe Boltanski, with his American translator, Laura Marris, and the religious anthropologist, Emma Aubin Boltanski in a series of bi-lingual readings and a film screening.
Christophe Boltanski is known as a new, significant voice in the genre of the “true novel.” His book, La Cache [The Safe House], is a remarkable first-person narrative, a family saga, and an original twist on the memoir of anti-semitism in Vichy France — across generations. Figures in the novel include artist Christian Boltanski whose pieces are on exhibit in the Nasher Museum, and Luc Boltanski, the sociologist. In 2015, the novel won major literary prizes in France, the Prix Fémina and le Prix des prix littéraires.
Boltanski will present and discuss his novel in tandem with his American translator, Laura Marris. Her translation will appear with University of Chicago Press in 2017.
Boltanski is also known for his writing for the Parisian newspaper, Libération, and today for the magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, and the online review, Rue 89. His journalistic work has taken him from Palestine to Malaysia, the Scottish reaches of Europe to Congo, resulting in a series of essays : Sept Vies de Yasser Arafat [7 Lives of Yasser Arafat 1997], Chirac d’Arabie [Chirac of Arabia: 2006], and his most recent, Minerais de sang : les esclaves du monde moderne [Blood Minerals : Slaves of the Modern World, 2014].
Laura Marris lectures in creative writing at Boston University. Her other translation projects include Louis Guilloux’s Le Sang noir [Blood Dark], as well as the poetry of Duke’s own Paol Keineg, Abalamour : Because or Down with Love.
Emma Aubin-Boltanski, at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales, Paris, works on religious practices of the Middle East, and their interrelations, especially in the Lebanon. Her books include: Penser la fin du monde (2014), and Pèlerinages et nationalisme en Palestine. Prophètes, héros et ancêtres (2007). In recent years, she has turned to the tool of film, and made several ethnographic documentaries. She will screen her latest, Catherine ou le corps de la Passion, [film in Arabic with French or English sub-titles] followed by a Q & A session.