Lola Lafon, with a French, Russian and Polish background, was raised in the equally diverse cities of Bucharest, Sofia and Paris. Her first love was dance, but then she turned to writing. After publishing a few articles in fanzines and alternative reviews/journals, she was spotted by literary reviews: N.R.V (which means “angry” in French), among others, published Lola Lafon’s first short stories between 1998 and 2000.
Her first three novels were published by Flammarion. These titles were nominated for several French literary awards, and tackle several ideological themes such as capitalism, antifascism, utopia or feminism. Lola Lafon is politically engaged in several collectives, addressing feminist questions and concerns; while she runs writing workshops aimed towards underserved or disadvantaged youth populations.
Music is also an important part of this versatile artist’s life. For each of her novels’ release, Lola Lafon organizes a series of concert-readings tours. The concert-readings event created for La Petite communiste qui ne souriait jamais (The Little Communist who Never Smiled) was held in Bucharest and Timisoara before the novel’s world debut, as an initiative of l’Institut Français. Once released in Paris, the novel was featured in more musical literary events at La Maison de la Poésie and several spring festivals. The author will also be touring during the fall and winter of 2014. This title published by Actes Sud received 5 literary awards this year.
One of Lola Lafon's books was translated into English this year, and published by Seagull Books. We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm is an insurrectionary and feminist tale told in poetic prose, dealing with the Chicago Haymarket events, which took place in the 19th century. This title is about rape, dance, radical politics (particularly anarcho-feminism), repression (overt and subtle) revolt and madness.This novel was also adaptated on stage by the theatrical company "Les Fugaces", in a road-movie version.
We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm, Seagull Books, July 2014, translated by David Ball and Nicole Ball
Une fièvre impossible à négocier, Flammarion, May, 2003
De ça je me console, Flammarion, August 2007
Nous sommes les oiseaux de la tempête qui s’annonce, Flammarion, March 2011
La Petite Communiste qui ne souriait jamais, Actes Sud, January 2014
On Lola Lafon's website, you can find videos of the concert-readings and a lot more : http://lolalafon.t15.org/main/
You can also read an article by French Culture Books on Lafon's Little Communist and an excerpt translated by Edward Gauvin here.