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The International Library

The International Library Part I: Notes on Sugar

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Thursday, 1:30 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT May 18, 2023

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

The Ticket/Voucher option includes a $10 Bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book at The Center for Fiction on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.


Join celebrated Swiss author Dorothee Elmiger and American writer Kate Zambreno for a conversation about Megan Ewing’s new English translation of Elmiger’s Out of the Sugar Factory (Aus der Zuckerfabrik). In an era of greed and lust, power and excess, Out of the Sugar Factory plumbs the impact of the sugar manufacturing industry through a kaleidoscope of memories, dreams, literary references, narrative threads, and historical fragments. From the Haitian Revolution and Chantal Akerman, to Karl Marx, James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence, Elmiger compiles a journal of reflections on global systems of capital through the medium of her personal patterns of experience. At a time when this critical historical lens is under attack across the U.S., we can look to Elmiger’s work as inspiration to keep revising old stories we have told until now.


About The International Library

Conversations across time, place, and language

Join the American Library in Paris, the Center for the Art of Translation, and The Center for Fiction for conversations across time, place, culture, and literary tradition, with live audiences in San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Paris.

At the intersection of theory and practice, past and present, as well as story and history, The International Library celebrates the live diffusion of in-person conversations in the hope of conjuring new possibilities and connecting new audiences across land and sea for a collective, intercultural experience.

Over the course of these conversations, we hope to broach the following questions about writing and translation: Who gets to translate? To be translated? How to translate? And for whom to translate? More broadly, the series will guide readers to think critically about how stories are told, investigating the points of view, the timing of the translations, and the intended or assumed audiences as well as inspiration, philosophy, and craft.

All meetings will be hybrid, taking place in person at The Center for Fiction in Brooklyn (1:30pm ET) with audiences at the American Library in Paris (in Paris; 19h30 CEST) and the Center for the Art of Translation in San Francisco (10:30am PT) for a live streaming experience. Events will run for about an hour.

Please write to Alice McCrum ([email protected]), Melanie McNair ([email protected]), or Leslie-Ann Woofter ([email protected]) with any questions or thoughts.

Out of the Sugar Factory cover - Vrinda Madan
  • Dorothee Elmiger ©Maurice Haas - Vrinda Madan

    Dorothee Elmiger

    Dorothee Elmiger

    Dorothee Elmiger was born in 1985 in Switzerland. She is the author of Out of the Sugar Factory, Shift Sleepers, and Invitation to the Bold of Heart. She lives in New York City.

    Photo Credit: Maurice Haas

  • Kate Zambreno_Heather Sten

    Kate Zambreno

    Kate Zambreno

    Kate Zambreno is the author most recently To Write As If Already Dead, a study of Hervé Guibert (Columbia University Press), and the novel Drifts (Riverhead). The Light Room, a meditation on art and care, is forthcoming from Riverhead in July 2023. A collaborative meditation on tone in literature with Sofia Samatar is forthcoming from Columbia University Press in fall 2023. A 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction, she teaches in the MFA nonfiction program at Columbia University and is the Strachan Donnelley Chair in Environmental Writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

  • HumanitiesFllwsHds22

    Megan Ewing

    Megan Ewing

    Megan Ewing is an Assistant Professor of German at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

About Our Partners

The American Library in Paris was established in 1920 under the auspices of the American Library Association with a core collection of books and periodicals donated by American libraries to United States armed forces personnel serving their allies in World War I. The Library has grown since then into the largest English-language lending library on the European continent. The Library celebrates the written word and the life of the mind. Through our evolving collections and innovative cultural programming, we promote knowledge, inspire lifelong learning, and promote a sense of community. We are a welcoming home for the thoughtful and curious in Paris.

Founded in 2000, the Center for the Art of Translation is a literary nonprofit based in San Francisco, California. Our publications, events, and educational programming enrich the library of vital literary works, nurture and promote the work of translators, build audiences for literature in translation, and honor the incredible linguistic and cultural diversity of our schools and our world.

  • ALP Logo SPONSORS - Vrinda Madan
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