The 2017 American Library in Paris Book Award goes to The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables For immediate release 3 November 2017

PARIS - The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables, by David Bellos, is the winner of the fifth annual American Library in Paris Book Award. “The contextual criticism of literature can often seem merely reductive, restoring the work of art to its background in a way that seems to forget the foreground,” wrote the award jury, comprised of New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff, and former director of la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Bruno Racine. “The Novel of the Century is a welcome and alert exception. Though dense with social history, the novel itself is always the subject.” The other five books on the 2017 shortlist were: ●

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz



Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King



Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and Other Misadventures in Gascony — France's Last Best Place, by David McAninch



I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This: A memoir by Nadja Spiegelman



The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in Twentieth-Century France by Susan Suleiman

The jury continued its citation, “above all, we learn to love Victor Hugo – as an artist hero working in exile, against the grain of his government, who turned what might have been a work of topical protest into one of the world’s eternal stories, and one of the most enduring of all pleas for human liberation.” Bellos, born in 1945, is the Meredith Howland Pyne Professor of French Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He also directs Princeton’s Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. Bellos is the author of Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything and Georges Perec: A Life in Words, among other books. The annual award is supported by a grant from the Florence Gould Foundation. This fifth award was for books originally published between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. The American Library in Paris was founded in 1920 with books sent by American libraries to United States personnel serving in World War I. It has since grown to more than 100,000 volumes, making it the largest English-language library on the European continent, and perhaps in any non-English-speaking country in the world. In addition to Adam Gopnik, Stacy Schiff, and Bruno Racine, the Library’s Writers Council consists of Diane Johnson, chairman, as well as Pierre Assouline, Laura Auricchio, Julian Barnes, Antony Beevor, Laurent de Brunhoff, Christopher Buckley, Michael Chabon, Sebastian Faulks, Laura Furman, Robert Harris, John Irving, Alice Kaplan, Ethan Katz, Philippe Labro, Fredrik Logevall, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Paxton, Lily Tuck, Scott Turow, and Ayelet Waldman. Details about the award are available on the Library’s website, at http://americanlibraryinparis.org/events-programs/americanlibrary-in-paris-book-award.html For media inquiries, please contact Grant Rosenberg at [email protected]

2017 American Library in Paris Book Award Press Release (English ...

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