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Sep 22
Talk
Ideas and Ideals: Strong Female Voices III ONLINE EVENT  Albertine Bookstore/French Embassy 972 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10075 
Sep 22
Talk
Ideas and Ideals: Strong Female Voices III ONLINE EVENT  Albertine Bookstore/French Embassy 972 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10075 
Sep 22
Performance
When the Waves Have Come and Gone Plage des Catalans

Civilizations

Laurent Binet | Translated by Sam Taylor

An ambitious and highly entertaining novel of revisionist history from the author of the international bestseller HHhH, Laurent Binet's Civilizations (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2021) is nothing less than a strangely believable counterfactual history of the modern world, fizzing with ideas about colonization, empire-building, and the eternal human quest for domination. It is an electrifying novel by one of Europe's most exciting writers.

Freydis is a woman warrior and leader of a band of Viking explorers setting out to the south. They meet local tribes, exchange skills, are taken prisoner, and get as far as Panama. But nobody ultimately knows what became of them.

Fast forward five hundred years to 1492 and we're reading the journals of Christopher Columbus, mid-Atlantic on his own famous voyage of exploration to the Americas, dreaming of gold and conquest. But he and his men are taken captive by Incas. Even as their suffering increases, his faith in his superiority, and in his mission, is unshaken.

Thirty years later, Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, arrives in Europe in the ships stolen from Columbus. He finds a continent divided by religious and dynastic quarrels, the Spanish Inquisition, Luther's Reformation, capitalism, the miracle of the printing press, endless warmongering between the ruling monarchies, and constant threat from the Turks. But most of all he finds downtrodden populations ready for revolution. Fortunately, he has a recent bestseller as a guidebook to acquiring power—Machiavelli's The Prince. The stage is set for a Europe ruled by Incas and Aztecs, and for a great war that will change history forever.


Laurent Binet was born in Paris, France, in 1972. He is the author of the novels The Seventh Function of Language and HHhH, which was named one of the fifty best books of 2015 by The New York Times and received the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. He is a professor at the University of Paris III, where he lectures on French literature.

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