Jakuta Alikavazovic, Katie Kitamura and Lila Azam Zanganeh on the interweaving of languages and selfhoods

May 8th

McNally Jackson Soho
134 Prince St.
RSVP Required — see below

Join three brilliant writers for a conversation on language, translation, and identity, presented by Villa Albertine and Fern Books. Jakuta Alikavazovic will discuss her US debut, Like A Sky Inside, with author Katie Kitamura, in a conversation moderated by Lila Azam Zanganeh.

In March 2020, Jakuta Alikavazovic spends a night in the Louvre Museum. At home: her nine-month-old son. In her overnight bag: a notebook, a toiletry kit, a duvet, a cube of nougat, and something that shouldn’t be there. In her head: memories of the Venus de Milo, of land art and the American road, of romance and travel and immigration and war – and of her father, who after each of their many visits to the Louvre would ask just how she’d go about stealing the Mona Lisa.

Like A Sky Inside is an insightful and heartfelt meditation on the possibilities and impossibilities of art, on parenthood and the betrayals of growing up, on foreignness and belonging, and on the secret conversations between our souls and the places that linger in our dreams.

“A perfect sculpture of pure thought, the kind of artwork that makes you want to steal it, a generous and joyful book that stitches memory and philosophy and narrative together so elegantly I was completely enthralled.”—Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X

Like A Sky Inside is about a night spent at the Louvre, but really it is about art and enchantment, exile and longing. Above all, it is a devastatingly tender portrait of Alikavazovic’s relationship with her father, written with unsurpassed brio, intelligence, and empathy.” —Katie Kitamura, author of Intimacies

Jakuta Alikavazovic was born in Paris to a family of Bosnian and Montenegrin origins. Her parents settled in France in the early 1970’s and Jakuta Alikavazovic was brought up bilingual, with close ties to her Bosnian and Montenegrin relatives. In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Goncourt Prize for a first novel and more recently, the Médicis Prize for non-fiction with her latest work  Like A Sky Inside (trans. by Daniel Levin Becker, Fern Books, 2024). She is also a columnist for the French newspaper Libération and the translator into French of authors including Toni Morrison and David Foster Wallace.



Katie Kitamura’s most recent novel is Intimacies. One of the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2021, it was longlisted for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and was a finalist for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize. It was also one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2021. In France, it won the Prix Litteraire Lucien Barriere, was a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Heroine, and was longlisted for the Prix Fragonard. Her work has been translated into 21 languages and is being adapted for film and television. She is a recipient of the Rome Prize in Literature, as well as fellowships from the Lannan, Santa Maddalena, and Jan Michalski foundations. Katie teaches in the creative writing program at New York University.



Lila Azam Zanganeh, born in Paris to Iranian parents, is the author of The Enchanter: Nabokov & Happiness, published in thirteen languages, and the forthcoming Exit Paradise. She speaks seven languages and has taught literature and cinema at Harvard University.





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