The American Library in Paris Book Award


The 2017 Book Award shortlist is announced

The finalists for the 2017 American Library in Paris Book Award, recognizing the most distinguished English-language book of the year about France, have been announced by the Library. The books are: 

Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and Other Misadventures in Gascony, France's Last Best Place by David McAninch
The Inquisitor's Tale: or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King
I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir by Nadja Spiegelman
The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables by David Bellos
The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in Twentieth-Century France by Susan Rubin Suleiman

The fifth annual Book Prize, which carries a prize of $5,000, will be presented to the winning author at a ceremony in Paris in November. Please see the press release for the 2017 Library Book Award Shortlist for more information. 

About the American Library in Paris Book Award

The Book Award was launched in 2013 with a generous gift to the Library from the Florence Gould Foundation. The past recipients of the prize reflect the diversity of intellectual and literary output that the Book Award seeks to recognize:

2016: The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France by Ethan B. Katz (Full transcript of Ethan B. Katz's remarks.)
2015: The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered by Laura Auricchio
2014: An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
2013: Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall

The Book Award follows a long tradition of showcasing and celebrating authors at the American Library. The Library was created in part as a memorial to a young American poet, Alan Seeger, who wrote the well-known poem “I Have a Rendezvous with Death” not long before he died in action in France in 1916. One of the Library’s founding trustees was Edith Wharton. Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, among many other writers of note, contributed reviews to the Library’s literary magazine, Ex Libris. Stephen Vincent Benét composed John Brown’s Body at the Library. Authors of every generation have worked and spoken at the Library: Ford Madox Ford, Archibald MacLeish, Colette, Henry Miller, André Gide, Anaïs Nin, James Baldwin, Irwin Shaw, James Jones, and Mary McCarthy, to name a few from the past. As the Library approaches its centennial, it remains the pre-eminent center in Paris for evening talks by prominent authors, artists, and other public figures.


The Award is administered by the American Library in Paris and is overseen by its Writers Council. The jury for the 2017 award has been selected: Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker and author of From Paris to the Moon and other books; Bruno Racine, novelist, memoirist, and until recently the president of the Bibliothéque Nationale de France; and this year's gala honoree, biographer Stacy Schiff. For a list of frequently asked questions, please check The American Library in Paris Book Award FAQs


  • Any book-length prose fiction or nonfiction work, originally written in English, about France or the French, will be considered by a committee of Award screeners. Nominated books must be scheduled for publication between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017.
  • Anyone – author, publisher, agent, reader — may nominate books for this award.
  • Books published exclusively in electronic form or online are not eligible.
  • A reprint of a book first published in another year is not eligible.
  • Books by members of the Writers Council or screening committee are not eligible for the Award.
  • The decision of the jury is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.

As soon as you know you would like to nominate a book, please notify Alexandra Vangsnes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the title of the book(s) and the estimated date the Library will receive the book(s). All nominated books must be postmarked and mailed to the American Library in Paris no later than 1 May 2017. Early submissions are encouraged.

Nomination Process

All nomination materials for the 2017 Book Award must be received by 1 May 2017.

  • STEP ONE - Complete and submit the online nomination form. A separate nomination form must be submitted for each title nominated.
  • STEP TWO - Submit the entry fee of €50,00 or $60.00. A separate entry fee must be submitted for each title nominated. We accept payments by check in euros or U.S. dollars, by credit card via PayPal (see link below), or via wire transfer.
Pay €50,00 (EUR)
Pay $60.00 (USD)

Please make checks payable to The American Library in Paris and send them to the address below. Contact Alexandra Vangsnes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to pay via wire transfer.

    • STEP THREE - Submit five (5) copies of each nominated book. Proof or reviewer's copies are acceptable as long as the book's publication date will fall on or before 30 June 2017 and must be replaced by finished copies at the time of publication.

      Please send books and entry fees to:

      The American Library in Paris Book Award
      c/o The American Library in Paris
      10, rue du Général Camou
      75007 Paris

      Phone number, if needed by shipper:  +33 1 53 59 12 60

      If you choose to send books via FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another shipping company, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to provide a tracking number.


      1 November 2016 Nominations open
      1 May 2017 Nominations close
      15 July 2017 Shortlist announced
      November 2017 Winner announced at award ceremony in Paris

      Books received will not be returned and become property of the American Library in Paris. The American Library in Paris Book Award is made possible by a generous gift from the Florence Gould Foundation.

Last modified on Friday, 30 June 2017 18:27