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Olivia Baes and Emma Ramadan with Elisa Gabbert

Olivia Baes and Emma Ramadan with Elisa Gabbert

Wednesday, December 07, 2022 - 8:00PM ET
Event Location: 

This event will take place virtually on Zoom. Click the button above to register.

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith, Community Bookstore, and Third Place Books for a virtual event with translators Olivia Baes and Emma Ramadan to discuss and celebrate the release of their new translation of The Easy Life by Marguerite Duras. They will be in conversation with poet, essayist, and critic Elisa Gabbert. 

For the first time in English, co-translated by Emma Ramadan and Olivia Baes, literary icon Marguerite Duras’s foundational masterpiece about a young woman’s existential breakdown in the deceptively peaceful French countryside.

The Easy Life is the story of Francine Veyrenattes, a twenty-five-year-old woman who already feels like life is passing her by. After witnessing a series of tragedies on her family farm, she alternates between intense grief and staggering boredom as she discovers a curious detachment in herself, an inability to navigate the world as others do. Hoping to be cleansed of whatever ails her, she travels to the coast to visit the sea. But there she finds herself unraveling, uncertain what is inside her. Lying in the sun with her toes in the sand by day while psychologically dissolving in her hotel room by night, soon her inner crisis reaches its peak and she must grapple with whether and how she can take hold of her own existence.

An extraordinary examination of a young woman’s estrangement from the world that only Marguerite Duras could have written, The Easy Life is a work of unsettling beauty and insight, and a bold, spellbinding journey into the depths of the human heart.

Olivia Baes is a Franco-American multidisciplinary artist who grew up between France, Catalonia, and the United States. She holds a Master of the Arts in Cultural Translation from the American University of Paris.

Emma Ramadan is an educator and literary translator from French. She is the recipient of the PEN Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, an NEA Fellowship, and a Fulbright. Her translations include Abdellah Taïa's A Country for Dying, Virginie Despentes's Pretty Things, and Barbara Molinard's Panics.

Elisa Gabbert is the author of six collections of poetry, essays, and criticism, most recently Normal Distance and The Unreality of Memory & Other Essays. She writes the On Poetry column for the New York Times, and her work has appeared recently in Harper’sThe AtlanticThe New York Review of Books, and The Believer.