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(Hybrid) Looking to Art, At Home and Abroad with Benjamin Moser

Wed April 24 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30


The Library welcomes Pulitzer-Prize winning writer and translator Benjamin Moser for a conversation about his latest book, The Upside-Down World: Meetings with the Dutch Masters.

In 2002, at the age of twenty-five, Benjamin Moser moved from New York to the Netherlands. In search of places to anchor him in his new home, he began paying visits to Dutch art museums, where he developed a fascination with the “Dutch Masters” (a term given to a group of 17th-century Dutch painters, including Rembrandt and Vermeer, who developed distinctive styles and produced works that continue to inspire viewers). In his new book, The Upside-Down World, Moser delves into the details of the lives of the Dutch Masters, drawing from scant historical records to generate speculative musings and biographical accounts of these beloved painters.

Moser has also produced several other award-winning biographies and translations. His 2009 biography of the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector has been instrumental in securing Lispector’s rich literary legacy among global audiences. His 2019 biography of Susan Sontag was widely praised and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Through his biographies and his translations, Moser bridges both linguistic and cultural gaps, deftly introducing the complexities of foreign literature and the lives of international artistic figures to the English-speaking world.

Moser will be joined in conversation by Pamela Druckerman, a cultural writer and journalist. Druckerman has published five books and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Le Monde, among other publications.

About the speakers:

Benjamin Moser is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book of 2009. For his work bringing Clarice Lispector to international prominence, including through publishing her complete works in English, he received Brazil’s first State Prize for Cultural Diplomacy. For Sontag: Her Life and Work, he won the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book, The Upside-Down World: Meetings with the Dutch Masters, was published in October 2023. He lives in the Netherlands and France.

Pamela Druckerman is a journalist and the author of five books including Bringing Up Bébé, which has been translated into 31 languages. She won an Emmy for The Forger, a New York Times documentary about a French teenager in WWII. Her op-eds, essays, articles and reviews have  been published in the The New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, Le Monde and many other publications. 

Learn more:

Moser recently translated an interview with the renowned Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector from Portuguese to English. You can read his translation, and listen to the original Portuguese recording, in a piece for The New Yorker.

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 The Upside-Down World 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.


Wed April 24
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
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(Hybrid) Looking to Art, At Home and Abroad with Benjamin Moser
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