Monday 28th April 7:00pm

BTBA_square_2The Best Translated Book Award is the largest prize for literature in translation in the United States. Selected from all original translations published last year, the author and translator of each winning title--there is one for fiction and another for poetry--will receive a $5,000 cash prize. This year's awardees will be announced in simultaneous ceremonies: one in New York and the other at Shakespeare and Company. Join Belgian novelist Amélie Nothomb, BTBA judge Daniel Medin and a passel of writers and translators from the UK (Siân Melangell Dafydd, Joanna Walsh), USA (Peter Wortsman, Lauren Elkin) and France (Joëlle Defeuilly, Céline Leroy) as we celebrate all of the prize's finalists, along with the art of literary translation, with readings from the shortlist.

Wednesday 30th April 7:00pm

Join us in the library for an evening of theatrical playreading entertainment…

What connects a group of frustrated underground activists, a team of screenwriters searching for inspiration for a TV series, and an unseen government fighting a threat to their national security? One name: George Kaplan.

This play in three movements spans politics, myth, and conspiracy theory as it examines the influence of Hollywood on our global geopolitics and how Hitchcock might have been implicated in an international plot. It touches on digital warfare and the manipulation of the common consciousness, the role of coffee (and beer) in meetings, and a chicken that may have the power to save the human race.

George Kaplan is a thrilling comedy by prize-winning French writer Frédéric Sonntag, translated into English by Vanessa Ackerman and Stephanie Street thanks to a grant by the Société Beaumarchais and with support from HighTide Festival.

Friday 2nd May 7:00pm

The mindful translator: Toward a praxis of literary translation

Practicing literary translators have long been at odds with translation theory. At best, such theory fails to capture the complexity of literary translation; at worst, it seriously misrepresents the processes and products of translation, both simplifying and distorting to the point where translators no longer recognize their part in the endeavor. Part of the problem lies in a misconception of what theory is for—there is a widespread assumption among translators and the general public that theory precedes practice, and is intended to be “applied.” Another approach, though, is possible—to theorize practice, as one finds, for example, in the work of Donald Schön and others. This talk, by an experienced practicing translator, will consider the possible uses of theory for the practice of literary translation.

Bill Johnston has translated about thirty books from the Polish, including both poetry and prose. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; his prizes include the inaugural Found in Translation Award for Tadeusz Różewicz’s new poems (2008) and the AATSEEL Translation Prize for Magdalena Tulli’s Dreams and Stones (2004), both published by Archipelago Books. In 2012 his translation of Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel Stone Upon Stone (Archipelago Books, 2010) won the PEN Translation Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, and the AATSEEL Translation Prize. He is currently a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and is working on a new translation of the Polish national epic Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz (1798 – 1855). He teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.

Monday 5th May 7:00pm
aller retourAller Retour Paris -- The Henry Miller Library Goes to Paris!
Join us for the Aller Retour opening night party hosted by Ping-Pong, the official literary magazine of the Henry Miller Library (Big Sur CA)! Expect poetry, wine, music by Al Rose, and much more. Speakers include New York City's J Hope Stein, Paris-based artist Jean-Noël Chazelle, and editor Maria Garcia Teutsch, who will be reading from the new bilingual (French and English) edition of "Pussy"/"Chatte."  Facebook event page:
Full Aller Retour line-up here:
Tuesday 6th May 4:00pm

aller retourIn collaboration with the Henry Miller Library Aller Retour festival.

Join us for a talk in the library, followed by a literary stroll around the City of Lights, with Thirza Vallois, whose "Around and About" Paris books have been universally acclaimed as the best travel books ever written on the city. The talk will run from 4-5pm, followed by the walk, which should wrap up around 7:30 pm.

To learn more about Thirza and her books, visit

Full Aller Retour schedule here:

Wednesday 7th May 3:00pm

aller retourHow Henry Miller Can Change Your Life (Again)

We all know why we love Henry Miller (or even hate him), but do we know the real reasons why we should love him? Join us for an insightful discussion with Dr. Katy Masuga, author of The Secret Violence of Henry Miller (2011) and Henry Miller and How He Got That Way (2011) and Mary Duncan, Director of the Paris Writers Group and author of “Henry Miller is Under My Bed: People and Place on the Way to Paris” (2008).

Full Aller Retour line-up here:

Monday 12th May 7:00pm

glow“A singular, and almost recklessly gifted, young writer” – Time

We’re hugely excited about hearing Ned Beauman speak about his dazzling new novel, Glow.

A hostage exchange outside a police station in Pakistan. A botched defection in an airport hotel in New Jersey. A test of loyalty at an abandoned resort in the Burmese jungle. A boy and a girl locking eyes at a rave in a South London laundrette ...

For the first time, one of Britain’s hottest young novelists turns his attention to the present day, as a conspiracy with global repercussions converges on one small flat above a dentist's office in Camberwell.

Ned Beauman was born in 1985 in London. His debut novel, Boxer, Beetle, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize and won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Fiction Book and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction. His second novel, The Teleportation Accident, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Encore Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. He has been chosen by the Culture Show as one of the twelve best new British novelists and by Granta as one of the 20 best British novelists under 40. His work has been translated into more than ten languages.

Ned has a very cool and interesting website here:

Wednesday 14th May 3:00pm

kate stablesChildren’s Hour – music, rhythm, and stories for kids. Bring your children (2-6 year-olds, siblings welcome too) to the library at Shakespeare and Company for an hour of music, songs, and stories in English (for all nationalities, even those who don't speak English). Led by the magic Kate Stables, mum and singer/songwriter from This is the Kit, this lovely event has become an institution. There will be instruments to play and a lot of noise to make! Four euros donation appreciated.

Due to space restrictions, we ask that you try and email Kate at to confirm your place, and also that each child is accompanied by only one adult where possible. Thanks, all!

Thursday 15th May 7:00pm

bergerWe’re thrilled to announce that the magnificent John Berger will be joining us to discuss his book-length essay, Cataract (Notting Hill Editions/Temps des Cerises), and corresponding themes in his work as a whole.

John Berger is a storyteller, essayist, novelist, screenwriter, dramatist, and critic, whose body of work embodies his concern for, in Geoff Dyer's words, "the enduring mystery of great art and the lived experience of the oppressed". He is one of the most internationally influential writers of the last fifty years, who has explored the relationships between the individual and society, culture and politics and experience and expression in a series of novels, bookworks, essays, plays, films, photographic collaborations, and performances, unmatched in their diversity, ambition, and reach. His television series and book Ways of Seeing revolutionised the way that Fine Art is read and understood, while his engagement with European peasantry and migration in the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours and A Seventh Man stand as models of empathy and insight.

Central to Berger’s creative identity is the idea of collaboration, with people, places, and communities as much as with other writers and thinkers. Democratic and open exchange is embedded into his project, and among those artists with whom he has worked are some of the most imaginative in their fields—theatre director Simon McBurney of Complicite, the late artist Juan Munoz, photographer Jean Mohr, composer Gavin Bryars and film-makers Mike Dibb, Alain Tanner, and Timothy Neat.

In Cataract, John Berger works in collaboration with acclaimed Turkish illustrator Selçuk Demirel. In this book-length essay, he explores what happens when cataracts rob an art critic of his sight, and reflects upon his own experience of loss of vision.