The American Library in Paris Book Award

robert harris

The 2014 American Library in Paris Book Award winner announced

The second annual American Library in Paris Book Award was presented Monday 3 November 2014 to Robert Harris for his historical novel An Officer and a Spy. Alice Kaplan, chairman of the jury, revealed the honored book to 100 guests at a ceremony within the gilded walls of the George C. Marshall Center in the Hôtel de Talleyrand. The other two jurors were Pierre Assouline and Sebastian Faulks. The novel, published by Random House and Hutchinson in the UK, recounts the conspiracy at the heart of the Dreyfus affair and centers on French army officer Georges Picquart, who discovered that Dreyfus was innocent.

In his remarks, Harris spoke of realizing the approach needed to write the novel: "I can honestly say that the writing of the book was an absolute joy from beginning to end. The dirty little secret of writing, as E.L. Doctorow once said, is that you have to find the voice. And the moment I realized that I should write this as Georges Picquart's memoir, I had the voice. And thereafter, history gave me all the characters and all the stories."

Harris went on to say that he was drawn to Picquart "because he seemed to me a truly interesting French hero. He could only be French. if the Dreyfus affair reflects discredit upon France, the fact and the behavior of Picquart reflects enormous credit."

The Library is grateful to the Florence Gould Foundation for supporting the Book Award. We are also thankful to our patrons of the 2014 Book Award ceremony: Alain Aubry, Mary Duncan, Charles and Clydette de Groot, Diane Johnson and Susan Mallory Kayat.

More information about the 2014 book award can be found in The 2014 American Library in Paris Press Release. A gallery of photos of the ceremony and reception can be found here.

About the American Library in Paris Book Award

The American Library in Paris has attracted and celebrated writers for all of its ninety-four years. The Library was created in part as a memorial to a young American poet, Alan Seeger, who wrote the well-known poem “I have a rendezvous with death” not long before he died in action in France in 1916. One of the Library’s founding trustees was Edith Wharton. Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, among many other writers of note, contributed reviews to the Library’s literary magazine, Ex Libris. Stephen Vincent Benet composed John Brown’s Body at the Library. And authors of every generation have worked and spoken at the Library: Ford Madox Ford, Archibald MacLeish, Colette, Henry Miller, André Gide, Anaïs Nin, James Baldwin, Irwin Shaw, James Jones, and Mary McCarthy, to name a few.

Today the Library is the pre-eminent center in Paris for evening talks by prominent authors who write in English. The Library now looks to extend its commitment to outstanding writing by awarding an annual literary prize under the supervision of its Writer’s Council. A generous grant from the Florence Gould Foundation has allowed us to make this idea a reality.

THE AMERICAN LIBRARY IN PARIS BOOK AWARD is given to the best book of the year in English about France or the French-American encounter.

Administration

The Award is administered by the American Library in Paris and overseen by its Writers Council. The decision of the jury is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.

The 2015 American Library in Paris Book Award - more information

The winner of the Award receives a prize of $5,000. He or she is invited to Paris, with air travel and accommodation at the Library’s expense, for an award ceremony in November and other Library functions, including a public reading and a writing workshop.

Jury for the 2015 Award 

The Book Award jury for 2015, drawn from the Writers Council of the American Library in Paris, is: Laura Furman (chair), novelist, professor at the University of Texas, and editor of the O. Henry Prize Stories series since 2002; Lily Tuck, novelist and biographer; and Fredrik Logevall, professor of international relations at Cornell University and the first winner of the American Library in Paris Book Award for Embers of War.

Timeline

14 October 2014 Nominations open
1 May 2015 Nominations close

15 June 2015

15 July 2015

Long list announced

Short list announced

November 2015 Winner announced at award ceremony in Paris

Eligibility

  • Any book-length prose fiction or nonfiction work, written originally in English, about France or the French-American encounter, will be considered by a committee of Award screeners.Nominated books must have been published between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015.
  • Anyone – author, publisher, agent, reader -- may nominate books for this award.
  • Books published exclusively in electronic form or on line are not eligible.
  • A reprint of a book first published in another year is not eligible.
  • Books by members of the Writers Council or screening committee are not eligible for the Award.

As soon as you know you would like to nominate a book, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the title of the book(s) and the estimated date the Library will receive the book(s). Please nominate and send books as early as possible. All nominated books must be postmarked and mailed the American Library in Paris no later than 1 May 2015.

  • Books may be submitted as finished copies, galleys or bound manuscripts. Galleys and bound manuscripts must be replaced by finished copies at time of publication.
  • A nomination entry is complete when the following have been received by the American Library in Paris:
    • Completed copy of The 2015 American Library in Paris Book Award Nomination Form.
      NOTE: A separate nomination form and fee must be received for each title nominated.
    • Five copies of each nominated book. Proof or reviewer’s copies are acceptable as long as the book’s publication date will fall before 30 June 2015.
    • The entry fee. Entry fees are accepted in euro checks (50 euros) or dollar checks ($70.00). An entry fee is expected of each book nominated. Please make checks payable to The American Library in Paris.
    • Selected promotional extracts or reviews of nominated books are welcome, but not required, as is a brief statement of why the book should be considered for the award.
    • All books, nomination forms and entry fees must be postmarked by 1 May 2015.

Please send books, nomination forms and entry fees to:

THE AMERICAN LIBRARY IN PARIS BOOK AWARD
c/o The American Library in Paris
10, rue du Gėnėral Camou
75007 Paris
FRANCE


Phone number if needed by shipper:  +33 1 53 59 12 60

Books received will not be returned and become property of the American Library in Paris. Please check the Library website regularly for updates and more information on the process. The American Library in Paris Book Award is made possible by a generous gift from the Florence Gould Foundation.

Last modified on Monday, 17 November 2014 11:29