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International Symposium

Organized in cooperation with the Creative Writing Program, Department of English
Les Editions Verdier, Lagrasse

Florida State University, February 24-28, 2003


This unique international symposium features some of the most creative forces in contemporary French and American writing.

In a series of readings, talks and debates, leading writers from both sides of the Atlantic discuss key features of their work, compare ideas and experiences and consider the future of literature in an increasingly globalized world.

How can France sustain and enhance her long tradition of literary innovation in a world that is increasingly dominated by American cultural models? How and why do American writers still look to France as a source of inspiration and even emulation? Compared with the original texts, how do translations resonate with French and American readers? To what extent do the American and French publishing industries stifle or reward innovative talents? These are among the questions addressed by participants, who include French and American publishers as well as representatives of the French Cultural Services.

The symposium, modeled on the successful Banquet du Livre held annually in the medieval French village of Lagrasse in association with les Editions Verdier, is hosted by Florida State University's Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies in conjunction with the Department of English. It is open to the public free of charge.

Daily events are scheduled throughout the week of Monday, February 24, through March 1.

Cette rencontre internationale réunit pour la première fois une pléiade d'écrivains français et américains qui sont parmi les plus créateurs de la littérature contemporaine.

Au cours d'une semaine de lectures, conférences, dialogues et débats, des écrivains majeurs des deux côtés de l'Atlantique discuteront leurs écrits, compareront leurs idées et réfléchiront sur l'avenir de la littérature à l'heure de la mondialisation.

Comment la France peut-elle continuer à nourrir sa longue tradition d'inventivité littéraire dans un monde qui est de plus en plus dominé par des modèles culturels américains ? Dans quelles circonstances les auteurs américains trouvent-ils encore en France une source d'inspiration et même d'émulation ? Lorsqu'un texte est traduit en anglais ou en français, quelles sont les conséquences pour sa réception chez des lecteurs qui ne partagent pas la même langue ? Les maisons d'édition françaises et américaines sont-elles suffisamment ouvertes aux nouveaux talents littéraires ? Ces questions seront débattues par des auteurs, éditeurs et animateurs culturels issus des deux côtés de l'Atlantique.

Inspirée par le Banquet du livre tenu chaque été dans le village médiéval de Lagrasse en association avec les Editions Verdier, cette rencontre aura lieu sous les auspices du Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies et du Département d'Anglais de la Florida State University. Elle est ouverte gracieusement au public.

Des manifestations sont prévues tous les jours pendant la semaine du 24 février.


Didier Daeninckx often makes use of a detective novel format to examine the social and cultural issues affecting France. His works include Meurtres pour mémoire (1984), Cannibale (1998), Le Dernier Guérillero (2002), and most recently, Le Retour d'Ataï (2001).

Christian Garcin wrote Le Pigeon voyageur (2000), and in 2002 he published a collection of short stories, Rien, and a novel, Sortilège.

Sylvie Gracia has published L'Eté du chien (1996) and Les Nuits d'Hitachi (1999). Her most recent novel, L'Ongle rose appeared in 2001, and deals with a woman's effort to maintain her integrity in a disintegrating world through the act of writing.

Jean-Baptiste Harang is a journalist for the Parisian daily, Libération. He has been publishing novels since 1993. His most recent work includes Les Spaghettis d'Hitler (1994), Gros chagrin (1996) and Théodore disparaît (1998).

Jean-Yves Masson has published two collections of poems, Offrandes (1995) and Onzains de la nuit et du désir (1995), an essay in collaboration with the late Sarah Kofman, Don Juan ou le refus de la dette (1990), and a novel, L'Isolement. He is currently the editor for German literature at les Editions Verdier.

Pierre Michon has published an account of a friend of Vincent Van Gogh, Vie de Joseph Roulin (1988), stories often set in the late Middle Ages, most recently Abbés (2001), and literary portraits of which the latest to appear is Corps du roi (2001) which deals with authors as diverse as William Faulkner, Samuel Beckett, Muhamad Ibn Manglî and himself.

Olivier Rolin won the Prix Fémina in 1994 for his novel, Port-Soudan. His essay Langue appeared in 2000. He often deals with political and social issues in his novels and essays. In 2002 he published Tigre en papier.

Antoine Volodine's most recent fiction explores a world where lives, traditions and literature have been destroyed by a nuclear war. In an effort to articulate the new sense of reality his characters must invent new linguistic forms and literary structures, examples of which can be found in Le Post-exotisme en dix leçons, leçon onze (1998). Des Anges mineurs (1999) won Le Prix Wepler and Le Prix du Livre Inter. In 2002 he published Dondog.


Ralph Berry's works of fiction include the short stories collected in Plane Geometry, winner of the 1984 Fiction Collective Award, and the novel Leonardo's Horse (1998). He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tours, France, in 1985-86.

Janet Burroway is the author of seven novels, including Raw Silk, Opening Nights, and Cutting Stones, and the plays Medea with Child and Sweepstakes. Her most recent books are a collection of essays, Embalming Mom, and a text, Imaginative Writing. She is the author of Writing Fiction, now in its sixth edition.

Robert Olen Butler won the Pulitzer Prize for A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain (1993). The author of nine novels and two collectionhs of short stories, he is a four-time honoree in Best American Short Stories and a six-time honoree in New Stories from the South.

Brigitte Byrd is a poet and native Parisian now resident in the U.S. Her poems have appeared in New American Writing, Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America and American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement. She has work forthcoming in So to Speak and How2.

Elizabeth Dewberry's work includes the plays Flesh and Blood and Four Joans and a Fire-Eater as well as the novels Many Things Have Happened to Me Since He Died, Break the Heart of Me and Sacrament of Lies.

Roberto Fernandez has published five novels, including La vida es un special (1982), Raining Backwards (1988) and Holy Radishes (1995), as well as numerous short stories. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies and reviews such as Microfiction, Cuban-American Writers, and The Madison Review.

Juan Carlos Galeano was born in the Amazon region of Colombia. He is the author of Pollen and Rifles, and two books of poetry, Baraja Inicial and Amazonia. His poetry has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Partisan Review and TriQuarterly. His collection, Amazon Folktales will appear in 2003.

Barbara Hamby's first book, Delirium, won the Vassar Miller Prize, as well as two prizes for the best first book of poems published in 1995, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award. Her second book, The Alphabet of Desire, won the 1998 New York University Prize for Poetry.

Jim Harrison's body of work includes 11 novels and collections of novellas - including Legends of the Fall, Dalva, and most recently The Beast God Forgot to Invent - together with a dozen books of poetry, and a memoir, Off to the Side.  He is also a prolific essayist and a former Hollywood screenwriter. 

David Kirby is a poet and the author, among other works, of The House of Blue Light, and a forthcoming collection called The Ha-Ha. His latest book is a collection of essays entitled What is a Book?

Sheila Ortiz-Taylor wrote the novels Faultline (1982), Spring Forward/Fall Back (1985), Southbound (1990), Coachella (1998), and Extranjera. She is currently working on a novel called Assisted Living.

Bob Shacochis's collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, received the 1985 National Book Award for First Fiction. His novel, Swimming in the Volcano, was a finalist for the 1993 National Book Award. A second collection of stories, The Next New World (1989), won the Prix di Rome in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Elizabeth Stuckey-French's novel Mermaids on the Moon was published by Doubleday in 2002. Her short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review and Five Points.

Virgil Suárez was born in Havana and has lived in the United States since 1974. He is the author of over 20 books, most notably Spared Angola (1997), Guide to the Blue Tongue (2002), Banyan (2001), Latin Jazz, and Going Under (1996), a novel translated into French as Le Plongeon (Editions Métaillé).

Mark Winegardener's recent books include his novels The Veracruz Blues (1996) and Crooked River Burning, chosen as one of the best 25 books of 2001 by the American Library Association, and a collection of stories, That's True of Everybody (2002).


For more information contact:
Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1540 Telephone 850.644.7636 Fax 850.644.9917 E-mail

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