Lectures & Literary past

The Family Clause Virtual Book Talk With Jonas Hassen Khemiri

Wed—9-9-2020
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Book Jacket Courtesy Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Jonas Hassen Khemiri—Photo by Pierre Bjork

WED—September 9—7 PM (EDT)

*This event will take place online as a Virtual Event.*

Jonas Hassen Khemiri, the acclaimed author of Montecore, joins us for a Virtual Talk to discuss The Family Clause, a novel about a family on the verge of collapse, which will be released in English translation beginning on August 25. Author Joshua Furst (Revolutionaries, 2019) will moderate the discussion.

Per a longstanding family agreement, a grandfather has maintained his Swedish residency while living abroad by coming to stay with his son every six months. On this visit, in his mind, the son is a failure; the daughter is having a baby with the wrong man; and only the grandfather is perfect—at least, according to himself. But over the course of ten intense days, as relationships unfold and painful memories resurface, the grandfather is confronted by his past, while the daughter is faced with an impossible choice, and the son attempts to write himself free. Can this family clause be renegotiated, or will it chain the family to its past forever?

Through a series of quickly changing perspectives, Jonas Hassen Khemiri evokes an intimate portrait of a chaotic and perfectly normal family, deeply wounded by the death of a child and the disappearance of a father.

“Strung together, engrossing, minute-by-minute passages become layered, and character arcs grows steeper by degrees . . . Depicting his characters’ perceptions of one another, and themselves, Khemiri (Everything I Don’t Remember, 2016) points to universal truths: in this and any family, roles change over time, and, with any luck, so do the people in them.” —Annie Bostrom, Booklist

Please send audience questions ahead of the discussion to info@amscan.org. Select questions will be chosen for a Q&A following the conversation. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

Books will be available in a new translation from Swedish by Alice Menzies beginning on August 25, 2020 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux; visit the website to learn how to purchase the book.

This program is presented by The American-Scandinavian Foundation and The Embassy of Sweden in collaboration with the American-Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, American Swedish Museum in Chicago, American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, The Consulate General of Sweden in New York, and The Consulate General of Sweden in San Francisco .

 

About the Author

Jonas Hassen Khemiri is the author of five novels, six plays, and a collection of essays, plays, and short stories. Among his many honors are the August Prize, the highest literary award for Swedish literature; the Enquist Literary Prize; the Borås Tidning Award for Best Literary Debut Novel; and an Obie Award.

His novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and his six plays have been performed by more than one hundred companies around the world. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden. The Family Clause will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on August 25, 2020.

About the Moderator

Joshua Furst is the author of Short People and The Sabotage Café, as well as several plays that have been produced in New York, where for a number of years he taught in the public schools. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he’s the recipient of a Michener Fellowship, the Chicago Tribune‘s Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Ledig House. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

(Joshua Furst — Photo by Michael Lionstar)

photo-by-michael-lionstar

 

 
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