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A Literary Pause with FACC Board Member Stephanie Schechner, PhD.

March 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Alliance Française and the FACC will join Stephanie Schechner, Ph.D., Professor of French and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, Widener University, for a Virtual Talk via Zoom.us. Stephanie will discuss the French novel she translated into English, Camille in October.

Stephanie will share information about the life of French author Mireille Best, give readings of passages from the novel in English, and welcome your questions.

In 1950s France, Camille struggles to figure out who she is and where she fits in the world of her coastal working-class neighborhood. Her mother holds the family together, with the support of a group of women who talk over coffee and cigarettes each day. Her father, a war veteran, is largely silent except when his inner rage erupts in violence. Her sister, Ariane, provides comic relief, while her construction worker brother, Abel, is a lost soul who suffers from severe seizures. Camille herself can usually be found curled up with a book, observing everything.

But an intellectual and sexual relationship with her dentist’s wife opens a world of new possibilities to Camille. Where will this lead her? Suicide, murder, accidental death–all are possible in this unconventional narrative from French author Mireille Best. As a young adult, Camille is not always the most reliable narrator, but she charms with her intelligence, lack of pretension, and strong connection to her roots. Through Camille’s eyes, we embark on a fundamental and universal quest to balance where we come from with who we need to become.

“Amid misery, love as a passage to life—emotional and cultural—gives this story its power and its originality. To achieve this required an exacting sensitivity. Here is the true success of this novelist.” — Le Monde

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