Library Blog

The Bancroft pantheon

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 10:18 Written by
Virtually every great American historian of the postwar era has received the Bancroft Prize. The 2010 Bancroft Prizes have just been announced, and the winners are: • Linda Gordon for her Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, about the celebrated Depression-era photographer; • Woody Holton for his portrait of American’s…

The Loneliness of the long distance researcher

Monday, 29 March 2010 10:00 Written by
Today's guest blogger, biographer Veronica Buckley, will be at the Library on Wednesday, March 31 at 19h30 to speak about her new book The Secret Wife of Louis XIV, Francoise d'Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon. Read a rave review from the New York Times. Can a building shrink? I don’t remember…

'Picturing America' at the Library

Friday, 26 March 2010 13:45 Written by
The work of American artists Childe Hassam, Richard Diebenkorn, John Singleton Copley, Dorothea Lange, John J. Audubon (born near Nantes), and Jacob Lawrence are on display at the Library now. These handsome reproductions were created by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts “Picturing America” series of American masterworks for…

The Paris book fair

Friday, 26 March 2010 09:57 Written by
The annual Salon du Livre at the Porte de Versailles, this one celebrating the last 30 years (the first salon was held in 1980), opens today and runs through Wednesday at the Porte de Versailles. Among 90-some authors, French and otherwise, due to make appearances are Paul Auster, Umberto Eco,…

Dial elsewhere for murder

Thursday, 25 March 2010 09:49 Written by
“Will the American thriller go the way of the American automobile?” asks Alexander Narazyan in The Daily Beast. “Is it possible that the entire Anglo-American world offers too narrow a scope? That even the work of whiskey-swilling private eyes has been outsourced? In one word, yes. He explains: “This past…

Check them out

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 17:06 Written by
What do these great writers have in common? Marcel Proust, Philip Larkin, Anne Tyler, Jorge Luis Borges, Madeleine l’Engle, Lewis Carroll, Archibald MacLeish, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Berger, Angus Wilson…. Answer: At one time in their lives they were librarians. Whoda thunkit. The online bookseller Abe Books.com selects the top ten…

Keeping the Cake

Tuesday, 23 March 2010 10:51 Written by
Today's guest blogger, Paula Butturini, will present her memoir, Keeping the Feast: One Couple's Story of Love, Food and Healing in Italy, at the Library tomorrow, March 24 at 19h30. After nearly a month back in the U.S. -- speaking in bookstores and libraries about my memoir, Keeping the Feast…

Chiseled in stone?

Monday, 22 March 2010 19:21 Written by
Proclaiming that Moses himself was a revisionist, Christopher Hitchens offers a new and improved version of the Ten Commandments. As the Bible offers “three or four wildly different scriptural versions…. we are fully entitled to consider them as a work in progress.” Making graven images of the Lord: “This appears…

Solace at the table

Sunday, 21 March 2010 15:46 Written by
Paula Butturini, who will be speaking about her new memoir Wednesday evening at the Library, got a powerful rave in the New York Times Book Review this morning. Reviewer Mika Brzezinski says “ ‘Keeping the Feast’ shares with Julie Powell's 'Julie & Julia' and Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Eat, Pray, Love' the…

Reality bites

Saturday, 20 March 2010 11:07 Written by
Non-fiction gets no respect as literature. And it should. “The genre emits a whiff of the déclassé, served (especially in literature departments) with a garnish of condescension.The problem starts with the word: Like ‘childless’ (why not ‘child-free’?), ‘nonfiction’ packs a lot of social judgment. Nonfiction may be real, but in…

R.S.V.P.? R.V.O.M!

Thursday, 18 March 2010 10:27 Written by
Rand Richards Cooper, writing on the op-edit page of the IHT yesterday, confronts a vexing contemporary social problem. Two responses are necessary: (1) Right on! (2) Mea culpa.

St. Patrick's Day puzzle

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 08:43 Written by
Michael Dirda, the Washington Post book critic and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, asks: “How is it that this small island has produced so many great modern writers? One might even make the case that all the greatest 20th century writers in every genre were Irish: W.B. Yeats…

'Reading is changing wildly'

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 08:42 Written by
Frances Gendlin, a writer who served on the board of trustees of the Library a few years ago, has been living more recently in Mexico – but thinking enough about her former haunts to write and publish a new book, the fictional Paris, Moi, and the Gang: A Memoir…of Sorts.…

Through the backstage door

Monday, 15 March 2010 23:00 Written by
A note to our youth librarian, Helen Géhin, from Library member Brita Long: "I want to thank you again for organizing Kathryn Lasky's visit the other week. Orla and I both really enjoyed her talk. "I finished Dancing Through Fire yesterday and loved it. Inspired by Degas' famous painting "L'Etoile,"…

Joyful noise

Sunday, 14 March 2010 16:02 Written by
A great open house at the Library Saturday, with lots of newcomers looking around (and joining!), the children's department alive with a book group and much more, and then the sublime sounds of the Society of Orpheus and Bacchus from Yale (pictured in full voice at right in the Reading…

Susan Sontag in Paris

Sunday, 14 March 2010 23:00 Written by
[caption id="attachment_156" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Susan Sontag"][/caption] Alice Kaplan’s memoir of her embrace of the French language, “French Lessons,” is a beloved classic. She has continued to write books of history that explore her deep interests in justice and postwar France. Now a professor of French at Yale, Kaplan is at…

How is that pronoun-ced?

Saturday, 13 March 2010 13:25 Written by
“One doesn’t have to be a psycholinguist to obsess over pronouns,” writes Jessica Love in the spring issue of The American Scholar. But it surely helps. This strangely absorbing essay, by a Ph.D. candidate in cognitive psychology at Ohio State University, will appeal to grammarians and anyone interested in the…

The doors are open

Thursday, 11 March 2010 18:34 Written by
Two or three times a year the Library opens its doors to give those who don’t know us already a chance to look around and kick the tires. This Saturday 13 March non-members (and members, of course) are invited to the Open House to partake in: • All manner of…

'Kitchen Chinese': A role reversal

Tuesday, 09 March 2010 10:03 Written by
As the programs manager for the American Library in Paris, I'm used to organizing author talks, not giving them. But when I published my first novel last month, I found myself on the other side of the fence. My book tour in the States had lots of highs (seeing old…

Librarians or cybrarians?

Monday, 08 March 2010 11:48 Written by
In a New York Times review of 'This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All," by Marylin Johnson, reviewer Pagan Kennedy writes that Johnson "cheerleads for these Brave New Librarians, championing the efficiency of online searches and digitized archives. And yet, without meaning to, her book…