Talking Across History: Literature as Dialogue

Kamel Daoud, Dinaw Mengestu, Francine Prose

Thursday 05 November, 2015
7:30pm, $0

972 Fifth Avenue

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Seventy years after the publication of Camus’s The Stranger, Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation retells the story from the point of view of the brother of the unnamed Arab who was shot and killed at the hands of the narrator. In Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, Francine Prose accounts for the life of Violette Morris (called Lou Villars in the book), an athlete who, after being banned from the 1928 Olympics for being a lesbian, collaborated with the SS and went on to become “The Hyena of the Gestapo.”

The participants will discuss how their books address a historical void, one by examining a fictional character who is deeply embedded in our cultural history, and the other by vindicating a real historical figure who left behind contradictory accounts of her life. Both writers use shifting narrative points of view to grapple with the complexity of their characters as they attempt to deal with the questions of evil and moral turpitude. In a panel led by Dinaw Mengestu, Daoud and Prose will discuss how these legacies are still relevant today.

Guests: Kamel Daoud and Francine Prose
Curator: Dinaw Mengestu

In English. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

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