Learning to Speak


When: Saturday, May 3
Where: Tinker Auditorium, The French Institute Alliance Française: 55 East 59th St.
What time: 5–6:15 p.m.

With Halfdan Freihow, Xiaolu Guo, Carme Riera, and Olivier Rolin; moderated by Sam Tanenhaus

Tickets: $12/$8 PEN and FIAF members and students

Tickets are now available by fax or in person through FIAF’s box office. Tickets will also be available beginning March 29 through Ticketmaster: www.ticketmaster.com or (212) 307-4100.

Cosponsored by the the French Institute Alliance Française and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

Xiaolu Guo writes of learning to speak English in her delightful and funny novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. She talks about the funny, poignant, and heartbreaking moments that occur between two people who don’t always quite understand what the other is saying. Halfdan Freihow has to place every word carefully and precisely when he speaks to his autistic son, Gabriel. The wrong word, or the right word in the wrong place, can result in severe fractures in his little boy’s life. Catalan novelist Carme Riera will share perspectives of her experience as a woman coming out from the Franco period, as a Catalan-language writer following the Spanish dictatorship, and as a recoverer of memories for the Jewish expelled from Spain during the fifteenth century. Moderated by Sam Tanenhaus of The New York Times.