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The Brooklyn Book Festival 2019 Edition

Part of Brooklyn Falls for France

The Brooklyn Book Festival is one of America’s premier book festivals and the largest free literary event in New York City. Presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors, it includes a week of Bookend Events throughout New York City (Sept 16-23), a lively Children’s Day (Sept 21) and a celebratory Festival Day and Literary Marketplace (Sept 22).

The authors visit are also part of the Brooklyn Falls for France Cultural Season initiative.

The Festival Day and Literary Marketplace held on Sunday, September 22 (10am-6pm) will gather 250 booksellers and more than 300 authors including renowned French and Francophone writers Scholastique Mukasonga, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, Patrice Nganang and Jérôme Tubiana. During the day, each of them will participate in a discussion on a topic related to their latest book. See the program below. 

10am: "Village People: Rural Lives in a Global World"

Jean-Baptiste Del Amo is a French writer whose debut novel, Une éducation libertine (Gallimard, 2008) met a huge success among the public and the critics and won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. After publishing his second novel, Le Sel, he spent a year as a pensionnaire at La Villa Médicis writing the Sade-prize-winning Pornographia. He will be touring in the US in September 2019 to present his fourth novel and the first to appear in English, Animalia, translated by Frank Wynne and soon to be published by Grove Atlantic (September 10). To know more about his tour, click here.

The discussion starring Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson (House of Lords and Commons) and Russian writer Maxim Osipov (Rock, Paper, Scissors) will be moderated by Emily Nemens, editor of The Paris Review. More information here.

12am: "Everything is Horrible: Comics as a Satire and Witness"

Jérôme Tubiana is a journalist and researcher. He has contributed to National Geographic, the London Review of Books, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications. He has worked for various NGOs, think tanks and humanitarian organisations, including the International Crisis Group, Action Against Hunger and the United States Institute of Peace. He is embarking on a US Tour for the release of Guantánamo Kid: The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani. Illustrated by Alexandre Franc and translated with the help of Edward Gauvin, it was just published by SelfMadeHero. More information here.

The discussion with American cartoonists and illustrators Ben Passmore (BTTM FDRS) and Mark Alan Stamaty will be moderated by Sarah Glidden (Rolling Blackouts). More information here.

1pm: "In the Shadow of the War: African and Indian Perpectives"

Patrice Nganang is a Cameroonian novelist, poet, essayist, professor and political activist. He holds a PhD in Comparative literature from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (Frankfurt) and teaches comparative literature at Stony Brook University (NY). His novel Dog Days received the Prix Médicis étranger and the Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire. He is also the author of Mount Pleasant (FSG, 2016). His fifth novel, When The Plums Are Ripe was published in August 2019.

The discussion with Ethiopian-American writer Maaza Mengiste (The Shadow King) and Indian author Raghu Karnad (Farthest Field) will be moderated by Eric Banks, director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. More information here.

3pm: "Looking Back: Memoir, Auto-Fiction and the World that Shapes Us"


Born in Rwanda in 1956, Scholastique Mukasonga settled in France in 1992, only 2 years before the genocide of the Tutsi swept through Rwanda. In the aftermath, Mukasonga learned that 27 of her family members had been massacred. Twelve years later, Gallimard published her autobiographical account Inyenzi ou les Cafards. This was followed by the publication of many widely praised novels. Her Notre-Dame du Nil, won the Ahamadou Kourouma Prize and the Renaudot Prize in 2012, and the French Voices Award in 2014. She will be presenting her latest book,The Barefoot Woman. Learn more about her book here.

The discussion starring Bosnian-American fiction writer, essayist, and critic Aleksandar Hemon (This Does Not Belong to You/ My Parents: An Introduction) and Indian novelist, poet, essayist, critic, editor, singer and music composer Amit Chaudhuri (Friend of My Youth) will be moderated by Amitava Kumar (Immigrant, Montana). More information here.



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The Brooklyn Falls for France Cultural Season offers a rare opportunity to experience a slice of contemporary Francophone culture across New York City’s largest borough, from street performances and virtual reality presentations to large scale theatrical projects and retro­spectives. From September 14, 2019, to February 1, 2020, nearly 20 Brooklyn-based cultural institutions have chosen to present projects by authors, artists, choreographers, curators, directors, and publishers from the French-speak­ing diaspora. Many of these events are free, several are U.S. premieres, they all are unique experiences. To shed light on this outstanding season, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation have grouped these events into a single program.