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Evenings with an Author: Diane Johnson, Flyover Lives

February 26, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: “Indifference to history—that’s why you Americans seem so naïve and don’t really know where you’re from.”

The j’accuse stayed with Johnson. Were Americans indifferent to history? Her own family seemed always to have been in the Midwest. Surely they had got there from somewhere? In digging around, she discovers letters and memoirs written by generations of stalwart pioneer ancestors that testify to more complex times than the derisive nickname “The Flyover” gives the region credit for.

The Boston Globe notes the “absolute pleasure of being in the company of a skilled writer who so eloquently examines the people and geography that shaped her.” Diane Johnson is a novelist (Lulu in Marrakesh, L’Affaire, Le Mariage, Le Divorce, Persian Nights, The Shadow Knows), essayist (Into a Paris Quartier), biographer (Dashiell Hammett: A Life), screenwriter (The Shining), and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

She currently divides her time between Paris and the U.S.




February 26, 2014
7:30 pm
Event Category:


American Library in Paris
10 rue du General Camou
Paris, Ile-de-france 75007 France
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