Maison Atlas. A novel by Alice Kaplan
Alice Kaplan talks about her new novel, Maison Atlas, just published in French by Le Bruit de Monde. This is a first foray into fiction for Alice Kaplan, Professor of French at Yale University, and her virtuosic composition shows how powerful a novel can be for telling a history.
Maison Atlas begins in the early 1990s, when Emily leaves Minnesota to spend a year abroad studying in Bordeaux. In one of her classes she meets Daniel Atlas, an Algerian Jew, and they fall in love. He’s still just a young dandy when civil war breaks out in Algeria, and he’s forced to leave Emily and France. Returning to El Biar, the neighborhood where he grew up, Daniel finds his parents isolated and threatened. His family, successful property owners with a distinguished history and deep Algerian roots, stayed put after the country won its independence in 1962, when most Jews moved away. Years later, Becca, a young American student, travels to Algiers to better understand her origins.
Alice Kaplan is Sterling Professor of French and Director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University, and a specialist of 20th century France. Her previous books include The Interpreter, Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, and Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic.
Laurence Marie, Lecturer in French at Columbia, will read excerpts of Maison Atlas in French. Alice will also be joined in conversation about her novel by Jake McAuley, a journalist with The Washingon Post and author of The House of Fragile Things, and Madeleine Dobie, Chair of the French Department at Columbia.
This event is free and open to the public. Proof of vaccination is required and masks are to be worn over the mouth and nose at all times. RSVP here.