Albertine Book Club

Join bestselling author and president of the 43rd Angoulême International Comics Festival jury, Antonin Baudry, for a discussion on Jean Genet’s 1946 novel, Miracle of the Rose (Miracle de la rose).

“When I got to the street, I walked boldly. But I was always accompanied by an agonizing thought: the fear that honest people may be thieves who have chosen a cleverer and safer way of stealing.” ― Jean Genet, Miracle of the Rose

In a series of riveting anecdotes, Miracle of the Rose conveys the narrator’s experiences in Mettray Penal Colony and Fontevrault prison. With the German occupation of France in the background, a nightmarish account of prison comes to light in the text’s foreground: delinquency mingles with eroticism, and a picture of Genet’s strange and singular universe behind bars – Genet himself was once imprisoned in Mettray Penal Colony – emerges.

Miracle of the Rose is at once a miracle of the body and of the mind, confinement transformed into redemption; incarceration into poetry; and life into the path of truth. As the narrator concludes, “I am silent and walk barefoot.”

French and English versions of Miracle of the Rose are available for purchase at Albertine. The discussion is led in English and French. Speakers of English and/or French are encouraged to attend. The Albertine Book Club is free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.

Antonin Baudry is a writer, former diplomat, Paris editor of The Paris Review, and founder of Albertine Books in French and English, New York’s only French reading room and bookshop. Baudry most recently held positions as Ambassador for French Culture and President of the Institut Français in Paris and Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States (2010 to 2015), where he oversaw French-American cultural relations and supported French universities, arts, literature and education to cultural and academic institutions across the United States. He created a renewed connection between France and the United States with a team spread between New York, Washington and eight other American cities. In his role as Cultural Counselor, Baudry also served as the Permanent Representative of the French Universities in the United States and fostered French-American higher education exchanges, creating opportunities for researchers, scholars and students to collaborate.

Baudry is the Founder of Albertine Books in French and English, which opened its doors in New York in September 2014. Offering over 14,000 titles in French and in translation, the combination reading room, bookshop, and venue is a project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and provides a singular hub for French-American intellectual exchange in New York. Albertine serves as a new forum for debates and discussions on subjects from politics, to economics, to art, literature, and the sciences that explore culture through a modern and global lens.

Under the pen name of Abel Lanzac, Baudry received the prize for best album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival with designer Christophe Blain in February 2013 for the second installment of their graphic novel series Quai d’Orsay. Baudry and Blain also received the RTL graphic novel Grand Prize in December 2010 for the first installment of the same series.

The film adaptation of Quai d’Orsay premiered in November 2013 and won the special jury prize for best screenplay at the Saint-Sébastien Film Festival in September 2013 and the Prix Jacques Prévert screenplay prize in February 2014 for best adaptation. The film was also chosen as a special presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for a 2014 César award for best adaptation.

Baudry is an alumnus of both the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and the Ecole Polytechnique.