Alison James, Assistant Professor of French Literature at the University of Chicago discusses the book, La stratégie des antilopes by Jean Hatzfeld and winner of the 2007 Prix Médicis. The book is an examination of how survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide are dealing with life amongst each other after the gang from 'Machete Season' are released from prison and return to their villages.
Jean Hatzfeld was born in Madagascar in 1949, where his father was a teacher. His Jewish parents had moved there seven years earlier, fleeing from the Nazis, but he and his family eventually returned to the Auvergne region. In 1994 Jean Hatzfeld, then a special correspondent and war reporter, travelled to Rwanda to report about the massacre there, and its aftermath, for Libération. He later decided to leave daily journalism in order to focus solely on research into the genocide.
Professor Alison James focuses on modern and contemporary French literature. Her teaching and research interests include the Oulipo group, experimental poetry and prose, the connections between literature and philosophy, and representations of the everyday. Her book Constraining Chance: Georges Perec and the Oulipo has been recently published by Northwestern University Press (2009). She has edited a special issue of L'Esprit créateur on the theme of literary formalism (Summer 2008) and has published articles on Louis Aragon, Jacques Roubaud, Georges Perec, Harry Mathews, and the philosopher Clément Rosset.
This program is generously sponsored by the Jean Bodfish Brown Lecture Fund.
Recorded Saturday, November 15, 2008 at Alliance Française de Chicago.