6:00 PM–7:30 PM Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall
Elaine Sciolino, in conversation with Elisabeth Ladenson
Rewatch the event here. Elaine Sciolino’s new book explores the history and mythology, the romantic and the everyday life of the magical Seine river that runs through the heart of Paris. In the spring of 1978, as a young journalist in Paris, Elaine Sciolino was seduced by a river. In The Seine, she tells the story of that river through its rich history and lively characters—a bargewoman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat dweller, a famous cameraman known for capturing the river’s light. She patrols with river police, rows with a restorer of antique boats, discovers a champagne vineyard, and even dares to swim in the Seine.
Sciolino’s keen eye and vivid prose bring the river to life as she discovers its origins on a remote plateau of Burgundy, where a pagan goddess healed pilgrims at an ancient temple. She follows the Seine to Le Havre, where it meets the sea. Braiding memoir, travelogue, and history through the Seine’s winding route, Sciolino offers a love letter to Paris and the river at its heart and invites readers to explore its magic.
Elaine Sciolino is a contributing writer and former bureau chief of The New York Times in Paris and an author whose previous books include The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs. Elisabeth Ladenson is Professor French at Columbia.