Truth may be stranger than fiction, but in fascinating novels from Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Anne Berest, and Anne Weber, the two realms powerfully meld and mirror each other. Vásquez’s latest novel Retrospective, as the author describes in an intro, “extracts the figure of this novel from the huge mountain of [filmmaker] Sergio Cabrera’s experience and that of his family.” In Berest’s English-language debut The Postcard, autofiction provides the author a means to vividly recover family histories lost in the Holocaust. In Epic Annette: A Heroine’s Tale, “a bold and moving exploration of the ethics of heroism” (Times Literary Supplement), Anne Weber offers a new telling of the life of Annette Beaumanoir, a member of the French resistance who rescued and hid two Jewish children, and later became a supporter of the Algerian independence movement. In rendering these real-life stories in the form of novels, these authors give them new resonances with the epic twists and turns of our times. What is real and what is invented—and what do we learn from both? This event will be moderated novelist and fiction editor at The Drift Zain Khalid (Brother Alive).
This program is presented with the support of Villa Albertine, in partnership with the French Embassy.