Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

(Hybrid) The Anatomy of Privilege: Nick McDonell on Quiet Street

Thu May 2 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30


Prolific novelist and journalist Nick McDonell joins us at the Library for a conversation about his new memoir, Quiet Street.

Nick McDonell has written eleven books, ranging from novels (the first of which he wrote at the age of seventeen) to nonfiction accounts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With his latest book, a memoir called Quiet Street, McDonell turns his gaze inward, taking his own upbringing in a wealthy New York family as his subject. Among other institutional contexts, he considers the private all-boys school that he attended in Manhattan, his time as a student at Harvard, and his summers spent at the Devon Yacht Club. Across these accounts, McDonell reflects upon the machinations of privilege, using his own life as a prism through which to understand larger dynamics of class, race, and inequality. He will appear in conversation at the Library with photographer and filmmaker Roopa Gogineni.

About the speakers:

Nick McDonell has published eleven books. His work has been translated into 23 languages and appeared on bestseller lists around the world. He is the author of the novels Twelve, The Third Brother, An Expensive Education, and The Council of Animals, as well as a work of political theory, The Civilization of Perpetual Movement, and five books of reportage on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including The Bodies in Person. He has contributed reporting and essays to Harper’s Magazine, The London Review of Books, Libération, The Paris Review, newyorker.com, and TIME, among other publications. He has also written for film and television.

As a reporter, McDonell has covered the wars in Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine. He helped found The Zomia Center, which is dedicated to the study of ungoverned and semi-governed regions known as non-state spaces. He grew up in New York City and studied literature at Harvard and international relations at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford.

Roopa Gogineni is a filmmaker, photographer and curator from West Virginia whose work considers historical memory and modes of resistance. After a decade in Nairobi she is now based in Paris. Suddenly TV, her latest film about magical thinking and revolution, was nominated for the IDA Awards and earned jury prizes at SXSW, IndieLisboa, and Kasseler Dokfest. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford and teaches at Parsons Paris.

Learn more:

You can read an extract from Quiet Street here.

A review of Quiet Street in the Chicago Review of Books describes the book’s success in tracing the “violence” of the “one percent.” Read the review here.

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 Quiet Street 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.


Thu May 2
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
Event Categories:
Watch Now
(Hybrid) The Anatomy of Privilege: Nick McDonell on Quiet Street
We take your privacy and the protection of your personal data very seriously. This website is GDPR compliant, uses only essential cookies that are necessary to function, and does not use cookies that collect or store data about you or your device. By using this website, you agree to our Data Protection Policy.