Date(s) - 14/03/2014
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Soirée littéraire, an evening of francophone literary encounters, is jointly presented by Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, High Commission of Canada, Embassy of Switzerland, Embassy of France / Institut Français en Inde, Alliance Française de Chandigarh, Alliance Française de Delhi, Alliance Française de Pondichéry and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council. With the aim to build audiences for contemporary writing in French, the event will take place in Pondicherry, New Delhi and Chandigarh.
The evening will include readings from the original texts by Belgian, Canadian, French and Swiss authors followed by conversations in English by literary experts. Prof Martin Mégevand from the Université Paris 8 has been invited to be the Master of Ceremony.
François Emmanuel / Belgium
Born in Fleurus (Belgium) on 3 September 1952. While studying medicine he showed a marked interest for poetry and screenplay. In 1979-80 he temporarily suspends his studies in psychiatry and spent several months in Jerzy Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium de Wroclaw. From that period onwards he gradually embraced writing novels. Since 1989, he has been writing novels that are often solemn, but sometimes lighter that is characteristic of him, and is sometimes referred to as « summer » or « winter ». His novel La Passion Savinsen was awarded the Belgian literary award Prix Rossel in 1998, whereas Regarde la vague got him the prix triennal du roman in 2010. His novel La Question humaine was translated in more than fifteen languages, and was later adapted into a film. In 2010 François Emmanuel was awarded the Grand Prix de la SGDL for his life’s work. In addition to his novels François Emmanuel has regularly published poetry books, such as Portement de ma mère in 2001. He returned to screenplay writing in 2007 with Partie de chasse. He is a member of the Académie de Langue et de Littérature françaises de Belgique.
Pascale Kramer / Switzerland
Pascale Kramer was born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1961 and now lives in Paris. She studied literature at the University of Lausanne. After a brief stint in journalism, Pascale moved to Zurich to work as part of Jacques Séguéla’s team. She later settled in Paris where she works in the field of event’s organization. She organizes a documentary films festival about Children’s Rights and is in charge of the programming of the African Book Fair that takes place in Geneva in the spring. She has so far published ten novels, amongst them Les Vivants (The Living, Calmann-Lévy, 2000), L’implacable brutalité du réveil (The Relentless Brutality of Awakening, Mercure de France, 2005), and more recently Un homme ébranlé (The Child, Mercure de France 2011), Gloria (Flammarion, Paris, 2013). She has been the recipient of the Prix Michel-Dentan in 1996, Price Lipp in 2001, le Grand Prix du roman de la SGDL in France and le Prix Schiller amongst other prestigious awards.
Hédi Kaddour / France
Born in Tunisia in 1945, Hédi Kaddour is a French novelist, poet, columnist, and translator from English, German and Arabic. He teaches French literature at New York University (New York & Paris) and is in charge of the Writing Workshop at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). Hédi Kaddour is the associate chief editor of the main French poetry review, PO&SIE, and contributes with numerous columns to the literary reviews La Nouvelle Revue Française and Le Monde des Livres. His first novel, Waltenberg, received the prestigious Prix Goncourt for First Novel in 2005. Seagull Books recently published his latest book, Little Grey Lies (translation of Savoir-vivre, Gallimard, 2010).
Kim Thúy / Canada
Kim Thúy left Vietnam with her parents as boat people when she was ten years old. She has worked as a seamtress, an interpreter, a lawyer, a restaurant chef-owner, and has appeared as a guest chef on various radio and television channels. She is living in Montreal. ru is her first novel, published by Libre Expression in October 2009. Translation rights have been sold in 20 countries so far. It was shortlisted for various literary awards and has won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Grand Prix RTL/Lire 2010, and the Grand Prix du Salon du Livre de Montréal 2010, among others. Her second book, co-authored by Pascal Janovjak, was published in September 2011 by Libre Expression. mãn, her latest book, was released April 2013.
Master of Ceremony: Prof Martin Mégevand
Martin Mégevand, Switzerland, completed his studies at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, with a Doctorate in Contemporary Drama dealing with society in post-war European drama and music. From 1990 to 1994, he worked at the Delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Geneva. This experience inspired him to include in his research the link between violence in history and literature, with a focus on French and Francophone Literature of the second half of the twentieth century. He is currently working at Paris 8 University as Lecturer at the department of French and Francophone Literature. A member of the board of the internationally known review Littérature, he is an expert at the Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques (CIEP) and a member of the National Council of the Universities since 2011.