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(Hybrid) The Art of Biography with Stacy Schiff

Tue May 14 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30


Writer-in-Residence Stacy Schiff joins us at the Library for a conversation about biographical writing.

Stacy Schiff is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and one of the leading non-fiction life writers of our time. Schiff’s biographies animate the lives and legacies of time-hallowed historical figures such as Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Cleopatra, countering popular narratives and misunderstandings with meticulous historical detail. 

The Library is delighted to host Schiff as our Writer-in-Residence this May. In this program, the author will appear in conversation with Elaine Sciolino, a contributing writer for the New York Times. The event will be followed by a reception, to which all attendees are invited. 

About the speakers:

Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize. Published to ecstatic reviews, her Cleopatra: A Life was a #1 bestseller. Named one of the New York Times’s Top Ten Books of 2010, it has been translated into thirty-five languages and won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. David McCullough greeted Schiff’s 2015 The Witches, also a #1 bestseller, as “brilliant from start to finish.” Schiff’s most recent book, The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, was a Wall Street Journal Top Ten Book of 2022 and figured as well on President Obama’s list of Favorite Books of 2022. The Wall Street Journal has called Schiff “perhaps the most seductive writer of nonfiction prose in America in our time.” Among other honors, Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, where she has been named a Library Lion.  

Elaine Sciolino is a contributing writer and former Paris bureau chief for the New York Times. Her forthcoming book, Adventures in the Louvre: How to Fall in Love with the World’s Greatest Museum, will be published in 2025. Decorated Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French state, she is the author of the national best-sellers The Seine and The Only Street in Paris. She has lived in Paris since 2002.

Learn more:

Shiff’s most recent book is a portrait of the American revolutionary activist and politician Samuel Adams. You can read NPR’s enthusiastic review of the book here.

Schiff’s biography of Benjamin Franklin has recently been adapted into a miniseries, with Michael Douglas starring as the beloved Founding Father. Watch the trailer for the miniseries here.

The Writer-in-Residence program is generously supported by The de Groot Foundation.

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.

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 May 14
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
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(Hybrid) The Art of Biography with Stacy Schiff
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