Garth Greenwell, Richie Hofmann and Jeffrey Zuckerman on Hervé Guibert

A writer of audacity, beguiling flair, unflinching honesty bordering at times on sheer cruelty, Hervé Guibert is considered a master of French autofiction. Recently rediscovered in the US thanks to a succession of brilliant translations, his books have found renewed interest and growing influence among a young generation of writers such as Garth Greenwell, Richie Hofmann, Edouard Louis, and Ocean Vuong.

On Tuesday, October 25, join novelist Garth Greenwell, poet Richie Hofmann and translator Jeffrey Zuckerman as they discuss Guibert’s My Manservant and Me, delve into the erotism at work in Guibert’s writing, and how it conveys so powerfully, and in the most luminous prose, his fascination for pleasure and violence, for tenderness as well as for human’s darkest inclinations.

Written shortly before Guibert’s death in 1991, My Manservant and Me gives the thoughts of a very old millionaire (living in 2036) who becomes more and more a victim of his valet. After making himself indispensable, the valet, a former movie actor, pushes the master out of his bedroom and barricades himself inside. And yet the complicity between master and servant is loving if bizarre and violent, and the valet is willing to let his master dictate the very text we’re reading.

My Manservant and Me is published by Nightboat in a translation by Jeffrey Zuckerman.

This event will take place in person in the bookstore. It will be in English. It is free with RSVP. Click here to receive your ticket(s.)

Garth Greenwell is the author of two internationally aclaimed and award-winning books of fiction, Cleanness (FSG / Pureté, Grasset, trans by Nicolas Richard) and What Belongs to You (FSG / Ce qui t’appartient, Rivages, trans. by Clélia Laventure). A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, Greenwell received the 2021 Vursell Award for prose style from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and VICE, and he has written nonfiction for The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and Harper’s, among others. 

Richie Hofmann’s new book of poems, A Hundred Lovers, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2022. He is the author of Second Empire (Alice James Books, 2015), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award, and a recipient of the Pushcart Prize and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, among other honors. His poems appear recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Yale Review, and the New York Review of Books. A 2017-19 Wallace Stegner Fellow, he is currently Jones Lecturer in Poetry.

Jeffrey Zuckerman is a translator of French books, including Jean Genet’s The Criminal Child and Hervé Guibert’s Written in Invisible Ink and My Manservant and Me. In 2020 he was named a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

Image Copyright: Hans Georg Berger