Wednesday, May 18, 2016


A conversation with Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor of French at Yale University, on Albert Camus and The Stranger.


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Alice Kaplan came to Yale in 2009 after many years at Duke University, where she was the founding director of the Duke University Center for French and Francophone Studies and a professor of Romance Studies, Literature, and History.

Her first book, Reproductions of Banality (1986), was a theoretical exploration of French fascism.

Since then she has published books on CÚline’s anti-semitic pamphlets (Sources et citations dans ‘Bagatelles pour un massacre’), on the treason trial of Robert Brasillach (The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach), and on American courts-martial in newly liberated France (The Interpreter).

The Interpreter was the recipient of the 2005 Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government.

The Collaborator was awarded the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award in History and was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critic’s Circle awards.

She is probably best known for her memoir, French Lessons, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography and autobiography.

Her literary translations include books by Roger Grenier, Louis Guilloux, and Evelyne Bloch-Dano.

Her book Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, was published in 2012 by the University of Chicago Press and the Editions Gallimard.

Her most recent book is Looking for the Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic (University of Chicago Press, 2016).