Maylis De Kerangal - "The Heart" - Irina Ruvinsky - Cultural Services of the French Embassy - France Chicago Center - the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Maylis De Kerangal discusses The Heart. She will be joined in conversation by Irina Ruvinsky.

Co-sponsored by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the France Chicago Center, and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

At the Co-op


About the book: Just before dawn on a Sunday morning, three teenage boys go surfing. Returning home, exhausted, the driver lets the car drift off the road into a tree. Two of the boys are wearing seat belts; one is sent through the windshield. He is declared brain-dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. His heart is still beating.

The Heart takes place over the twenty-four hours surrounding a fatal accident and a resulting heart transplant as life is taken from a young man and given to a woman close to death. In gorgeous, ruminative prose it examines the deepest feelings of everyone involved--grieving parents, hardworking doctors and nurses--as they navigate decisions of life and death. As stylistically audacious as it is emotionally explosive, Maylis de Kerangal's The Heart has mesmerized readers in France, where it has been hailed as the breakthrough work of a new literary star.

About the author: Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several novels in French, including Je marche sous un ciel de traîne (2000), La vie voyageuse (2003), Corniche Kennedy (2008), and Naissance d'un pont (published in English as Birth of a Bridge, winner of the Prix Franz Hessel and Prix Médicis in 2010). She has also published a collection of short stories, Ni fleurs ni couronnes (2006), and a novella, Tangente vers l'est (winner of the 2012 Prix Landerneau). In addition, she has published a fiction tribute to Kate Bush and Blondie titled Dans les rapides (2007). In 2014, her fifth novel, parer les vivants (The Heart), was published to wide acclaim, and won the Grand Prix RTL-Lire and the Student Choice Novel of the Year from France culture and Télérama. She lives in Paris, France.

About the interlocutor: Irina Ruvinsky received her PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago. She studied philosophy and French literature at the Sorbonne and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. She currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Cultural Services of the French Embassy: The Cultural Services is a division of the French Embassy in the United States to promote the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education in the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country including Chicago, the French Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic.

About the French Chicago Center: The France Chicago Center is a University of Chicago-based interdisciplinary organization that facilitates, promotes, and fosters stronger ties between University of Chicago students and researchers and their colleagues in France, while increasing awareness within the University of Chicago community of French culture, art, and thought. 

About the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures: Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers programs in French, Italian, and Hispanic/Luso-Brazilian literatures as well as Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. These programs include the study of literary history, established and current critical methodologies, literary theory and analysis, the sociology of literature, literature and history, cultural studies, films, and foreign language acquisition and pedagogy.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637