Feel très cultured this November when the Albertine, the gorgeous, specialty bookstore and reading room tucked away in the Beaux-Arts style French Embassy, brings American and French-speaking writers, artists and thinkers together for five days of discussions and debates about everything from filmmaking in Africa to the future of journalism to Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist legacy. Albertine is the premier bookshop for French and English books written by French-language authors in the United States—they carry a magnifique selection of over 14,000 titles by authors from over 30 countries—and their first festival last year brought a whopping 1000 visitors beneath its painted ceiling. This time the esteemed guests include National Book Award winner Judith Thurman, New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Margo Jefferson, Oscar-nominated director Abderrahmane Sissako, author Kamel Daoud (The Meursault Investigation) and graphic novelist Phoebe Gloeckner (The Diary of a Teenage Girl).
The festival runs from November 5th through 9th. All of the events are free and are seated on a first-come basis, so wear your warmest beret and silk scarf, grab a baguette to snack on, and line up early—it's sure to be more packed than a macaron shop on Bastille Day.