Date & Time
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Free and open to the public
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Camille Laurens discusses "Who You Think I Am." She will be joined in conversation by Alison James.
Organized in partnership with the Book Office of the French Embassy in the US, the France Chicago Center, and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.
At the Co-op
About the book: This psychological thriller dissects online relationships, offering a stunning indictment of the way society perceives women in contrast to men when age comes into play. This is the story of Claire Millecam, a forty-eight-year-old teacher and divorcée who creates a fake social media profile to keep tabs on Joe, her occasional, elusive, and inconstant lover. Under the false identity of Claire Antunes, a young and beautiful twenty-four-year-old, she starts a correspondence with Chris—pseudonym KissChris—which soon turns into an Internet love affair. A Dangerous Liaisons for our times, "Who You Think I Am" exposes the disconnect between fantasy and reality. Social media allows us to put ourselves on display, to indulge in secrets, but above all to lie, to recreate a life, to become our own fiction—magnifying and manipulating the double standards to which older women are held when they refuse to give up on desire. Simultaneously sensual, intellectually stimulating, and utterly relevant, this page-turner will stick in your mind long after reading.
About the author: Camille Laurens is a French author who received the Prix Femina, Prix Renaudot des Lycéens, and Le Prix Bourgogne de Littérature. Some of her early works include "Index," "Romance," and "Les Travaux d’Hercule." Eventually Laurens would delve into autofiction or as she refers to it, écriture de soi, which includes her novels "Dans ces bras-là," and "L’amour." Currently Camille Laurens sits on the jury for the Prix Femina. She is also an Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
About the interlocutor: Alison James is Associate Professor of French at the University of Chicago. Her teaching and research interests include postwar experimental writing, the Oulipo group, theories and representations of everyday life, and nonfiction narrative. She is the author of "Constraining Chance: Georges Perec and the Oulipo" (Northwestern University Press, 2009), and of numerous articles on modern and contemporary French literature. Her current book project, "Speaking Facts," identifies the emergence in the twentieth century of a documentary impulse that shapes French literature’s relationship to visual representation, testimonial discourses, and autobiographical narrative.