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(Hybrid) Selby Wynn Schwartz on The Female Khoros

Tue March 19 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30


Writer and scholar Selby Wynn Schwartz comes to the Library to discuss her Booker Prize-longlisted novel, After Sappho.

What if women’s lives and relationships were at the center of history? What kinds of stories would we have access to – stories of love between women and of female subjectivity – if our historical record were not dominated by male voices? 

In her debut novel, After Sappho, Selby Wynn Schwartz recovers biographical fragments about queer feminist women from history and weaves them together with imagined details. Schwartz breathes life into the stories of these writers, philosophers, and artists, melding their voices together to create a kaleidoscope of women’s experience. Much of the book is written in the voice of a collective, female “we” – what one NPR reviewer calls “the first person choral.” Join us at the Library for a conversation with Schwartz about women’s history, Sapphic lineage, and After Sappho’s genre-bending fusion of fiction and biography.

About the speaker:

Selby Wynn Schwartz is the author of After Sappho (Galley Beggar Press), which was longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize and shortlisted for both the 2023 Orwell Prize in Political Fiction and the 2023 James Tait Black Prize in Fiction. Her novella A Life in Chameleons received the 2021 Reflex Press Novella Award; in summer 2024, she will be a Fellow at the Maison Dora Maar in Ménerbes. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley.


In March, the Library is delighted to be hosting Reverberations: Literature Out Loud, a festival spotlighting innovations in the arts. In a series of concerts, conversations, and workshops, artists and authors are coming together to celebrate the history of storytelling and sound. Learn more about the festival and discover other events.

Reverberations is organized in partnership with the Opéra Comique and with the generous support of Festival Napa Valley, the American Center for Arts and Culture, and the Florence Gould Foundation. 

Learn more:

A New York Times review of After Sappho describes Schwartz’s project as “erudite and chatty, grounded in scholarship yet freed from any masculinist impulse for certainty or linear cohesion.” Read the review here.

Be sure to check out an excerpt from After Sappho before the event!

Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (the speaker 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.

Please note, clocks moved forward in the US on 10 March, but do not move forward in France until 31 March: If you are attending a virtual or hybrid program from a US time zone, the time difference will be one hour less between 10 March and 31 March, and will return to normal on 31 March.

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 After Sappho 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 March 19
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
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(Hybrid) Selby Wynn Schwartz on The Female Khoros
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