WHC, Rm 208, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT
The author and translator will read passages and discuss this prize-winning novel.
Christophe Boltanski’s first novel, La cache, is a literary mystery structured around the rooms of one family’s Parisian mansion. The novel follows the floor-plan of the house, getting closer and closer to “la cache,” the hiding place where Boltanski’s grandfather hid from the Nazis for the duration of the German occupation of Paris. For almost two years, his own children were unaware that he was still upstairs. Balanced between bemusement at the bohemian habits of his family and empathy for them as survivors, Boltanski presents the story in short episodes, using humor to approach how they lived with their history. As critic Marie-Laure Delorme wrote in Le Journal de Dimanche, “His sentences are surrounded by mysterious silences like enemies who must be fought off. How to tell the story of his family when it’s famous, when it’s wedded to the country’s nightmares, when it can’t be categorized, when privacy envelops it from head to toe like an invisible cloak.” (Laura Marris)
Sponsored by the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, The Department of French, The Yale Center for the Study of Antisemitism, and the Whitney Humanities Center.