Tag Archives | valerie mrejen

Katie Shireen Assef at East Bay Booksellers

Join Katie Shireen Assef, translator of Valérie Mréjen’s Black Forest.

A man decides he is old enough. A woman returns early from a lovers’ retreat to a bottle of pills at home. And how should you explain the nuances of contemporary Paris to your mother, twenty – five years dead? Valérie Mréjen’s Black Forest is a book of mourning that isn’t morbid or sentimental, but rather an elegant and wryly humorous brace against the void. With a paradoxically detached intimacy, Mréjen follows death’s dark and twisted path through the lives it touches, wringing out every possible meaning—or non–meaning— along the way. A writer at the height of her career who draws comparisons to Georges Perec and Nathalie Sarraute, Mréjen has cemented her status as an auteur with a singular voice, guiding us through the Black Forest of ghosts that populate her subconscious.

“Mréjen’s crystalline prose never grasps for sentimentality, and her meticulous, humane, and powerful volume unforgettably depicts the way the dead experience life after death in the traces they leave in the minds of the living.” ― Publishers Weekly

“A wonderfully dark little book in a perfect translation that will haunt you long after you put it down. I’m so happy to have read it.” — Emma Ramadan, translator of Sphinx (Deep Vellum, 2016) and Me & Other Writings (Dorothy Project, 2019)

“Filmmaker and novelist Valérie Mréjen has an eye that cuts and chisels. Nothing escapes her intuitive vigilance…With her, details are isolated and become powerful revealers of truth. Between life and death, in the tradition of Nathalie Sarraute, she seeks to write in the very place where consciousness, emotion, and reason are born, and then fade… she shows that absence can also be a form of presence.” — Marine Landrot, Télérama

“A sentence by Valérie Mréjen never pushes, rather glides along the page like on silk… Mréjen puts her finger on the wound, as delicately as possible.” — Eric Chevillard, Le Mondeca

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Katie Shireen Assef at Book Soup (Los Angeles)

Join Katie Shireen Assef, translator of Valérie Mréjen’s Black Forest.

A man decides he is old enough. A woman returns early from a lovers’ retreat to a bottle of pills at home. And how should you explain the nuances of contemporary Paris to your mother, twenty – five years dead? Valérie Mréjen’s Black Forest is a book of mourning that isn’t morbid or sentimental, but rather an elegant and wryly humorous brace against the void. With a paradoxically detached intimacy, Mréjen follows death’s dark and twisted path through the lives it touches, wringing out every possible meaning—or non–meaning— along the way. A writer at the height of her career who draws comparisons to Georges Perec and Nathalie Sarraute, Mréjen has cemented her status as an auteur with a singular voice, guiding us through the Black Forest of ghosts that populate her subconscious.

“Mréjen’s crystalline prose never grasps for sentimentality, and her meticulous, humane, and powerful volume unforgettably depicts the way the dead experience life after death in the traces they leave in the minds of the living.” ― Publishers Weekly

“A wonderfully dark little book in a perfect translation that will haunt you long after you put it down. I’m so happy to have read it.” — Emma Ramadan, translator of Sphinx (Deep Vellum, 2016) and Me & Other Writings (Dorothy Project, 2019)

“Filmmaker and novelist Valérie Mréjen has an eye that cuts and chisels. Nothing escapes her intuitive vigilance…With her, details are isolated and become powerful revealers of truth. Between life and death, in the tradition of Nathalie Sarraute, she seeks to write in the very place where consciousness, emotion, and reason are born, and then fade… she shows that absence can also be a form of presence.” — Marine Landrot, Télérama

“A sentence by Valérie Mréjen never pushes, rather glides along the page like on silk… Mréjen puts her finger on the wound, as delicately as possible.” — Eric Chevillard, Le Monde

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Poetry off the Shelf: Valérie Mréjen at the Poetry Foundation (Chicago)

Join the Poetry Foundation for a reading and conversation about poetry, film and art between Stéphane Bouquet and Valérie Mrejen. They will be joined by translators Lindsay Turner and Katie Shireen Assef.

Stéphane Bouquet is the author of several collections of poems and—most recently—a book of essays on poems, La Cité de paroles (2018). He has published books on filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein and Gus Van Sant, as well as screenplays for feature films, non-fiction films, and short films, and has translated poets including Paul Blackburn, James Schuyler, and Peter Gizzi into French. Bouquet is a recipient of a 2003 Prix de Rome and a 2007 Mission Stendhal Award. His collection The Next Loves was translated by Lindsay Turner and published by Nightboat books.

Valérie Mréjen is a writer, filmmaker, and mixed media artist. She has written five novels, most recently Troisième personne, and exhibited widely in France and abroad, including in a solo retrospective at the Jeu de Paume gallery in Paris. She is an alumna of residencies at Villa Medici in Rome and Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. Mréjen’s first feature–length film, En ville, co–directed with Bertrand Schefer, was a Director’s Fortnight selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, and her children’s play, Trois Hommes Verts, premiered at the Théâtre Gennevilliers in 2014. Her novel Black Forest was translated by Katie Shireen Assef.

Presented in partnership with Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Double Change

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Valérie Mréjen and Katie Shireen Assef at Albertine Books (New York)

Join Albertine Books for a conversation with French poet Stéphane Bouquet and writer, filmmaker, and mixed media artist, Valérie Mréjen. Moderated by translators Lindsay Turner and Katie Shireen Assef.

Bouquet will discuss his new collection of poems, The Next Loves, translated by Lindsay Turner and released by Nightboat Books. Valérie Mréjen will speak about her novel, Black Forest, translated by Katie Shireen Assef and published by Deep Vellum Publishing.

The talk will be introduced by the Poetry Society of America, co-organizer of the event.

In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.

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