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(Hybrid) On Reading with Joanna Biggs and Lauren Oyler

Tue June 18 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30


Joanna Biggs and Lauren Oyler consider why we read who we read, what we owe to the literary past, and how to write for the future.

In A Life of One’s Own: None Women Writers Begin Again, author Joanna Biggs’s divorce catalyzes a fascination with women across history whose artistic innovations emerged out of conflict with gender expectations. Considering the likes of Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, and Zora Neale Huston, Biggs discovers the strength and resolution that emerge when one is faced with the task of reconfiguring one’s life. 

Biggs will appear in conversation with critic and novelist Lauren Oyler, who similarly engages with literary history in her project of shaping and critiquing the literary present. They will discuss the constraints and liberties of writing as women in the contemporary world, creative heritage, and their sense of responsibility toward the future.

About the speakers:

Joanna Biggs is an editor at Harper’s Magazine. A Life of One’s Own: Nine Women Writers Begin Again was a New York Times spring pick and was shortlisted for the Marfield Prize / National Award for Arts Writing. The book also earned Biggs a grant from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. Her writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. While she now lives in New York, where she is at work on a novel, she lived in the 12ème arrondissement in 2003, when a demi-baguette cost 20 cents.

Lauren Oyler‘s essays on books and culture appear regularly in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Harper’s, the London Review of Books, and many other publications. She is the author of the novel Fake Accounts and an essay collection, No Judgment, which was published this year. She lives in Berlin.

Learn more:

Be sure to check out the New Yorker’s review of Joanna Biggs’s recent book, A Life of One’s Own: Nine Women Writers Begin Again.

Lauren Oyler was a Scholar of Note at the Library last fall. In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of her program on our YouTube channel.

Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (the speakers will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.

Attendance at this event constitutes permission for your photograph or video to be taken at the event and used by the American Library in Paris for marketing, promotional, pedagogical, or other purposes.

Read along with the Library! If you want to prepare ahead of this event, copies of A Life of One’s Own will be on sale one week in advance, as well as after the event. Stop by Member Services to purchase your copy. Books are generously provided by Smith&Son.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have their copy signed following the conversation.

Evenings with an Author are free and open to the public (with a 10€ suggested donation)
thanks to the generous support of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten of GRoW @ Annenberg.


Tue June 18
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
Event Categories:
(Hybrid) On Reading with Joanna Biggs and Lauren Oyler
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