Self-Portrait in Green—On the Work of Marie NDiaye

Self-Portrait in Green—On the Work of Marie NDiaye

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - 8:00PM ET
Event Location: 

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for a virtual event to celebrate the 10th anniversary edition of Marie NDiaye’s genre-defying classic, Self-Portrait in Green with her primary English translator, Jordan Stump. He will be in conversation with writers Alexandra Kleeman, Giada Scodellaro, and Jennifer Wilson. 

Who are the green women? They are powerful (one is a disciplinarian teacher). They are mysterious (one haunts a house like a ghost). They are seductive (one marries her best friend’s father). And they are unbearably personal (one is the author’s own mother).

They are all aspects of their creator: Marie NDiaye, an author celebrated worldwide as one of France’s leading writers. Here, in her own skewed take on the memoir, NDiaye combs through all the menacing, beguiling, and revelatory memories submerged beneath the consciousness of a singular literary talent. Mysterious, honest, and unabashedly innovative, NDiaye’s self-portrait forces us all to ask questions—about what we repress, how we discover those things, and how those obsessions become us.

This 10th anniversary hardcover edition of Marie NDiaye’s genre-defying classic restores photographs that appeared in the original French edition alongside Jordan Stump’s dazzling translation, revealing in English, at last, the complete vision of NDiaye’s influential masterpiece.

Marie NDiaye was born in 1967 in Pithiviers, France. She is the author of around twenty novels, plays, collections of stories, and nonfiction books, which have been translated into numerous languages. She’s received the Prix Femina and the Prix Goncourt, France’s highest literary honor, and her plays are in the repertoire of the Comédie-Française.

Translator Jordan Stump is a Professor of French at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; he has translated some thirty works of (mostly) contemporary French fiction, by such writers as Marie Redonnet, Eric Chevillard, and Scholastique Mukasonga, as well as seven works by Marie NDiaye, including the forthcoming Vengeance Is Mine. His translation of her The Cheffe was awarded the annual translation prize for fiction by the American Literary Translators’ Association.

Alexandra Kleeman is the author of the novel Something New Under the SunIntimations, a short story collection, and the novel You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, which was awarded the 2016 Bard Fiction Prize and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. In 2020, she was awarded the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction in 2022.

Giada Scodellaro was born in Naples, Italy and raised in the Bronx, New York. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New YorkerBOMBHarper’s, and Granta, among other publications. She is a recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, and is the inaugural Tables of Contents Regenerative Residency Fellow. Some of Them Will Carry Me is her first book.

Jennifer Wilson is a contributing essayist at The New York Times Book Review. She received the 2022 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Book Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. Her reporting, commentary, and criticism have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Review of BooksHarper’sThe AtlanticVultureBookforumThe NationThe Paris Review, and elsewhere.