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A century-spanning portrait of the inhabitants of a French village, revealing the deception, despair, love, and longing beneath the calm surface of ordinary lives.
What if our homes could tell the stories of others who lived there before us? Set in a small village near Paris, The Balcony follows the inhabitants of a single estate-including a manor and a servants' cottage-over the course of several generations, from the Belle Époque to the present day, introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters. A young American au pair develops a crush on her brilliant employer. An ex-courtesan shocks the servants, a Jewish couple in hiding from the Gestapo attract the curiosity of the neighbors. Rich and poor, young and old, powerful and persecuted, all of these people are seeking something: meaning, love, a new beginning, or merely survival.
In her debut, Jane Delury writes with masterful economy and profound wisdom about growing up, growing old, marriage, infidelity, motherhood - in other words, about life - weaving a gorgeous tapestry of relationships, life-altering choices, and fleeting moments across the frame of the twentieth century. A sumptuous narrative of place that burrows deep into individual lives to reveal hidden regrets, resentments, and desires, The Balcony is brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.
Jane Delury grew up in Sacramento, California and attended UC Santa Cruz. Following several years in France, she moved to Baltimore to study fiction in the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Her short stories have appeared in Narrative, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, Glimmer Train, Five Points, and other publications. She has received a PEN/O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Special Mention, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Story Award, a VCCA fellowship, and grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. She holds a BA in English and French literature from UCSC, a maîtrise from the University of Grenoble, and an MA from the Writing Seminars. She is an associate professor of creative writing and English at the University of Baltimore, where she chairs the School of Communications Design.
TIME & DATE
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 7:00pm