The Making of our Intimacies: Elisa Shua Dusapin & Katie Kitamura

On Saturday, May 4, at 3pm, join the 2021 laureate of the National Book Award for Translated Literature Elisa Shua Dusapin, and internationally acclaimed author Katie Kitamura, as they discuss Dusapin’s latest novel, Vladivostok Circus, translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins, and published in the US by Open Letter (May 14, 2024).

As indicated by its title, Vladivistock Circus takes place in a circus and tells the intimate and beguiling story of four people –three performers and a costume designer– as they learn how to work with, and trust one another. Vladivistock Circus pictures the delicate balance that must be achieved when flirting with death in such spectacular fashion, set against the backdrop of a cloudy ocean and immersing the reader into Dusapin’s trademark dreamlike prose.

Elisa Shua Dusapin and Katie Kitamura share a similar fascination for intimacy, for the immateriality of a couple or a group dynamic, the pliability and mutability of language. How does the mysterious balance of trust, delusion, naivety actually work? how does it translate into form, words? Esthetic? Here are some of the questions that these wonderfully accomplished authors will delve into.

The conversation will be held in English and will be followed by a Q&A and a book signing. This event is free with RSVP. Click here for tickets.

Elisa Shua Dusapin was born in France in 1992 and raised in Paris, Seoul, and Switzerland. Winter in Sokcho is her first novel. Published in 2016 to wide acclaim, it was awarded the Prix Robert Walser and the Prix Régine Desforges and has been translated into six languages. In 2021, Aneesa Abbas Higgins’s English translation of Winter in Sokcho won the National Book Award for Translated Literature. After being staged multiple times, the book is currently being adapted for the screen by director Koya Kamura, with Roschdy Zem in the lead role. Winter in Sokcho was followed by Les Billes du Pachinko (Zoé, 2018, Folio 2020), which won the Swiss Literature Prize and the Alpes-Jura Prize, and Vladivostok Circus (Zoé, 2020, Folio 2022), shortlisted for the Prix Femina. Her three novels have been translated into over 35 languages.

Katie Kitamura’s work has been translated into 21 languages and is being adapted for film and television. She is a recipient of the Rome Prize in Literature, as well as fellowships from the Lannan, Santa Maddalena, and Jan Michalski foundations. Katie has written for publications including The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, Granta, BOMB, Triple Canopy, and Frieze. She teaches in the creative writing program at New York University.
Her most recent novel is Intimacies. One of The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2021, it was longlisted for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and was a finalist for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize. It was also one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2021. In France, it won the Prix Littéraire Lucien Barrière, was a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Héroine, and was longlisted for the Prix Fragonard. Her third novel, A Separation, was a finalist for the Premio von Rezzori and a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of Gone To The Forest and The Longshot, both finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award.