The Albertine Book Club Fall 2024 Calendar

“The most fruitful and natural play of the mind, in my opinion, is conversation.” Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592)

This fall, we’ll celebrate Albertine 10th anniversary, and we’re looking forward to a series of engaging conversations on The Lily of the Valley by Honoré de Balzac (trans. by Peter Bush, NYRB); Jellyfish Have No Ears by Adèle Rosenfeld (trans by Jeffrey Zuckerman, Graywolf Press); Command Performance by Jean Echenoz (trans by Mark Polizzotti, NYRB); Canoe by Maylis de Kerangal (trans by Jessica Moore, Archipelago).

This new line up aims to take you on a journey around the Francophone world and its diverse cultures through both classic and contemporary French and Francophone literature. For a few hours each month, change up your routine with books and friends from all the corners of the United States. Albertine Book Club offers a unique opportunity to meet and speak with other Francophiles.

Moderated by Albertine staff, the Albertine Book Club is free and open to Albertine members. For more information on how to become an Albertine member, click here.


Tuesday, September 17, 2024, at 6pm
The Lily in the Valley, by Honoré de Balzac, translated from the French by Peter Bush, introduction by Geoffrey O’Brien, NYRB
The Lily in the Valley is a terrible fairy tale of two people lost in a game of love—or is it? Peter Bush’s new translation brings out the psychological dynamics of one of Balzac’s masterpieces.

Tuesday, October 15, 2024, at 6pm
Jellyfish have no Ears by Adèle Rosenfeld, trans by Jeffrey Zuckerman, Graywolf PressA finalist for the 2023 Prix Goncourt, Jellyfish have no Ears is the story of Louise and her decision to get a cochlear implant, a choice that will change the way she hears the world around her—a choice that will involve equal parts loss and discovery. Accustomed to missing or mishearing words mid-conversation, Louise uses her imagination to fill in the gaps, conjuring an eccentric cast of characters and inventing stories that imbue her life with humor, vibrancy, and linguistic playfulness. She experiences her deafness as a portal into another world. Will the cochlear implant close that door?

Tuesday, November 26, 2026, at 6pm
Command Performance by Jean Echenoz, translated by Mark Polizzotti, NYRB
Gerard Fulmard is a loser. A disgraced former flight attendant, he attempts the métier of private detective, with spectacularly disastrous results, then begins working for an obscure political groupuscule beset by an outsized share of infighting and backroom maneuvering. At first employed as an enforcer, Fulmard is then coopted by one of the party’s less savory factions, sinking in deeper and deeper until he finds himself the reluctant assassin of the party’s own leader—and that’s when things really start going downhill. In the words of The Washington Post, Jean Echenoz remains “the most distinctive voice of his generation and the master magician of the contemporary French novel.”

Tuesday, December 17, 2024, at 6pm
Canoes by Maylis de Kerangal, trans by Jessica Moore, Archipelago Books
Seven stories ricochet off of this exhilarating central novella, and in them we hear female voices by turns indelibly witty, insightful, intimate, bracing, and profoundly interconnected. The women of these stories are mad about: stones, molds of human jaws, voicemail recordings, sonic waves, UFOs, and always how the texture of human voice entwines with their obsessions. With cosmic harmonics, vivid imagery, and a revelatory composition, Canoes will leave its reader forever altered.