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"Translating Houellebecq" Panel Discussion

University Room: David T. McGovern Grand Salon (C-104)
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 18:00

The American University of Paris is delighted to host a panel discussion on the theme of “Translating Houellebecq”. The panel features contributions from Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, Nelly Kaprièlian, literary editor of Les Inrockuptibles and Russell Williams from AUP. It takes place at 6pm on Tuesday 15th March in room C-104

This panel will discuss the global reception, significance and challenges of Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission. This novel was published in France in January 2015, at the start of a year of terrorist attacks on Paris, and provocatively anticipates the “submission” of France to Islamic rule. It also blends three of Houellebecq’s literary hallmarks: pessimistic critique of society, dark humour and explicit sex.

Lorin Stein is an editor and literary translator. His translation of Submission from French is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Stein has been editor of the American literary magazine The Paris Review since 2010. The Paris Review has been described as “the biggest little magazine in history” by Time magazine. Margaret Atwood called it: “One of the few truly essential literary magazines of the 20th century – and now the 21st”.

Nelly Kaprièlian is a novelist, literary editor of culture magazine Les Inrockuptibles and contributes to Vogue and the ‘Le Masque et la Plume’ radio programme on France Inter. Her novels Le Manteau de Greta Garbo (2014) and Veronica (2016) are published by Grasset.

Russell Williams teaches in the Comparative Literature and English department at the American University of Paris. He specialises in the contemporary French novel and has published widely on Michel Houellebecq’s work. He regularly contributes to the Times Literary Supplement and Los Angeles Review of Books.

This event is organised by the Department of Comparative Literature and English and the AUP Center for Writers and Translators and is open to all. Those looking to attend from outside the AUP community must register in advance by contacting Room C-104 is located in the AUP Combes building at 6, rue du Colonel Combes, 75007 Paris.

For further information, or to register, please contact Russell Williams at

Images from the top to bottom: Lorin Stein, Nelly Kaprièlian, Russel Williams.