Conversation with Philippe Lançon
animated by Stéphane Gerson @Maison Française de NY University
Philippe Lançon, a journalist, author, and contributor to Charlie Hebdo, was gravely wounded in the January 7, 2015 attack at the magazine’s offices. This trauma upended his relationship to the world, to writing, to reading, to love and to friendship. As he attempted to reconstruct his life, Lançon reread Proust, Thomas Mann, Kafka, and others, in search of guidance. Le Lambeau is an honest, intimate account of a man seeking to put his life back together after it has been torn apart. It is a book about survival, resilience, and reconstruction, about transformation, about one man’s shifting relationship to time, to writing and journalism, to truth, and to his own body.
Philippe Lançon is a French journalist and writer born in 1963. His memoir, Le Lambeau, won the 2018 Prix Femina, Prix du Roman News, and Prix Renaudot Jury’s Special Prize, and was also named Best Book of the Year by the magazines Lire and Les Inrockuptibles. He is the author of the novels L’Elan (2013) and Les îles (2011). His reviews on arts and literature for Libération have made him one of France’s finest cultural critics.
Stéphane Gerson is a cultural historian, Professor of French, French Studies and History at NYU, and the director of NYU’s Institute of French Studies. He is the author of several books, including a memoir, Disaster Falls (2017), chronicling the aftermath of his eight-year son Owen’s death.