About the American Library in Paris Book Award

The Book Award was launched in 2013 with a generous gift to the Library from the Florence Gould Foundation. The past recipients of the prize reflect the diversity of intellectual and literary output that the Book Award seeks to recognize.

The Book Award follows a long tradition of showcasing and celebrating authors at the American Library. 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 Benét composed John Brown’s Body at the Library. 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 from the past. As the Library approaches its centennial, it remains the pre-eminent center in Paris for evening talks by prominent authors, artists, and other public figures.

News about the 2018 Book Award

On 1 September 2018 the following five titles were shortlisted for the sixth annual American Library in Paris Book Award:

Adam Begley. The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera (Tim Duggan Books)

Julian Jackson. A Certain Idea of France: The Life of Charles de Gaulle (Allen Lane UK / Harvard University Press US)

Bijan Omrani. Caesar’s Footprints: A Cultural Excursion to Ancient France: Journeys Through Roman Gaul (Pegasus Books US / Head of Zeus UK)

Rupert Thomson. Never Anyone But You (Corsair UK / Other Press US)

Caroline Weber. Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siècle Paris (Alfred A. Knopf)

The winning title, selected by an independent jury, will be announced at a special ceremony in Paris in early November. Its author will receive the $5,000 cash prize and speak to the assembled guests that evening. Please watch the Library’s website and our newsletters e-Libris and Ex Libris for news of the winner and the award ceremony. The American Library in Paris Book Award is supported by generous gifts from the Florence Gould Foundation.

The annual American Library in Paris Book Award recognizes the most distinguished book of the year, written and published in English, about France or the French. The award is open to all genres. This year, 76 entries were submitted by publishers and authors across the English-speaking world, and ten titles were named to a longlist in July. All submissions to the Book Award are added to the Library’s circulating collection and are available for checkout by members.

Past Winners


The Award is administered by the American Library in Paris and is overseen by its Writers Council. The jury for the 2018 award includes Diane Johnson, novelist, essayist, critic, and chairman of the Library’s Writers Council; David Bellos, Princeton professor, translator, and author of last year’s winning book, The Novel of the Century; and Pierre Assouline, biographer, novelist, critic, and editor of larepubliquedeslivres.com

For a list of frequently asked questions, please check The American Library in Paris Book Award FAQs.


  • Nominations for the 2019 Award open on 1 November 2018.
  • Any book-length prose fiction or nonfiction work, originally written in English, about France or the French, will be considered by a committee of Award screeners. Nominated books must be scheduled for publication between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.
  • Anyone – author, publisher, agent, reader — may submit books for this award.
  • Books published exclusively in electronic form or online 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.
  • The decision of the jury is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.

As soon as you know you would like to submit a book, please notify Orlene McMahon at bookaward@americanlibraryinparis.org with the title of the book(s) and the estimated date the Library will receive the book(s). All submitted books must be postmarked and mailed to the American Library in Paris no later than 1 May 2019. Early submissions are encouraged.

Nomination Process

All nomination materials for the 2019 Book Award must be received by 1 May 2019.

  • STEP ONE – Complete and submit the online nomination form. A separate nomination form must be submitted for each title nominated.
  • STEP TWO – Submit the entry fee of €50,00 or $60.00. A separate entry fee must be submitted for each title nominated. We accept payments by check in euros or U.S. dollars, by credit card via Paybox (see link below), or via wire transfer.

Entry fee payment

Pay online via Paybox

Please make checks payable to The American Library in Paris and send them to the address below. Contact Orlene McMahon at bookaward@americanlibraryinparis.org to pay via wire transfer.

  • STEP THREE – Submit five (5) copies of each nominated book. Proof or reviewer’s copies are acceptable as long as the book’s publication date will fall on or before 30 June 2019 and must be replaced by finished copies at the time of publication.

The American Library in Paris Book Award
c/o The American Library in Paris
10, rue du Général Camou
75007 Paris

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

If you choose to send books via FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another shipping company, please send an e-mail to bookaward@americanlibraryinparis.org to provide a tracking number.


Timeline for 2019 Book Award (dates are approximate):

1 November 2018Nominations open
1 May 2019Nominations close
15 July 2019Longlist announced
1 September 2019Shortlist announced
November 2019Winner announced at award ceremony in Paris

Books received will not be returned and become property of the American Library in Paris. The American Library in Paris Book Award is made possible by a generous gift from the Florence Gould Foundation.