History lessons is the chosen theme for the 21st edition of the Festival du Livre that takes place from 3rd to 5th June in Nice.
The march of history is never steady and linear. Rather, it is a series of stumbles, falls, errors, recoveries … And often, the same mistakes are made over and over again, because we fail to learn from the past. Welcome to the Festival du Livre 2016.
Under the presidency of French doctor, novelist and former ambassador Jean-Christophe Rufin who, as president of Action Against Hunger and one of the founders of Médecins Sans Frontières knows a thing or two about human rights around the world, some 200 journalists, historians, philosophers and people from the world of entertainment will share their vision of the world, and the lessons they have learned from history.
Many are regulars, like Nice-born writer Didier Van Cauwelaert, whose book Un Aller Simple won the Prix Goncourt in 1994, while others will be present for the first time. Among those newcomers, one should be a big draw: Olivier Bourdeaut. The young author has taken France by storm this winter with his debut novel, En Attendant Bojangles, an off-the-wall tale of a boy growing up in an eccentric household, which has seduced readers and critics alike, won three popular French literary prizes, and already sold in excess of 160,000 copies.
Aside from the always popular book signings, there will be public readings of famous literary works, roundtable debates, and concerts organised in various venues around the city before and during the festival, while the now famous literary prize, le Prix Nice Baie des Anges, will be awarded on Friday to Akli Tadjer for La Reine du Tango, a novel that shows that tango is much more than just a passion.
Year on year, the festival continues to establish and re-establish itself as a uniquely vibrant and inspiring gathering of readers and writers, and this latest edition shouldn’t be any different.
The Festival du Livre de Nice takes place from the 3rd to the 5th of June (10am to 7pm each day) on Boulevard Jean-Jaurès, Place Gautier (Cours Saleya) and Place du Palais de Justice. Admission is free.
Lead image © Freddie Marriage; all other images courtesy Festival du Livre de Nice