The American Library in Paris Book Award

2016 American Library in Paris Book Award

The American Library in Paris Book Award recognizes the most distinguished book of the year, written in English, on the subject of France or the French-American encounter.

The finalists for the 2016 American Library in Paris Book Award have been announced, and the books are: 

  • A Country Road, A Tree, by Jo Baker. (Knopf)
  • At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails, by Sarah Bakewell. (Other Press)
  • The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed, by Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau. (St. Martin's Press)
  • Paris at War: 1939-1944, by David Drake. (Harvard University Press)
  • The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France, by Ethan B. Katz. (Harvard University Press)
  • The Other Paris, by Luc Sante. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The fourth annual award, which carries a prize of $5,000, will be presented in a ceremony in Paris in November. The Library received 59 eligible submissions this year.

The choice of the winning book will be made by the award jury, drawn from the Library's Writers Council, this year consisting of Laura Auricchio, the chair, whose biography The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered, won last year's prize; British novelist Robert Harris, whose An Officer and a Spy, about the Dreyfus affair, won the 2014 award; and Robert O. Paxton, the historian and leading American scholar Nazi Occupation in France. 

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 first recipients of the prize reflect the diversity of intellectual and literary output that the Book Award seeks to recognize -- a work of history, a novel, and a biography:

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. 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-American encounter, will be considered by a committee of Award screeners. Nominated books must be scheduled for publication between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.
  • 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 2016. Early submissions benefit from a reduced entry fee (see below).


  • Books may be submitted as finished copies, galleys or bound manuscripts. Galleys and bound manuscripts must be replaced by finished copies at time of publication.
  • A nomination is complete when the following have been received by the American Library in Paris:
    • Completed copy of the online nomination form.
      NOTE: A separate nomination form and fee must be received for each title nominated.
    • The entry fee. Entry fees are accepted by check in euros or U.S. dollars. The entry fee is €50,00 or $60.00. To encourage early submissions, entries postmarked before 1 March 2016 qualify for a reduced entry fee of €40,00 or $45.00. An entry fee is required of each book nominated. Please make checks payable to The American Library in Paris.
    • 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 2016.
    • Selected promotional extracts or reviews of nominated books are welcome, but not required, as is a brief statement (100-word maximum) of why the book should be considered for the award.
    • All nomination forms must be submitted online and all books and entry fees must be postmarked by 1 May 2016.

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.


15 October 2015 Nominations open
29 February 2015 End of reduced entry fee eligibility
1 May 2016 Nominations close
15 July 2016 Shortlist announced
November 2016 Winner announced at award ceremony in Paris

Books received will not be returned and become property of the American Library in Paris. Please check the Library website regularly for updates and more information on the process. The American Library in Paris Book Award is made possible by a generous gift from the Florence Gould Foundation.


The 2015 American Library in Paris Book Award Winner

The third annual Book Award, which carried a prize of $5,000, was awarded to The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered by Laura Auricchio at the George C. Marshall Center on Friday 6 November 2015. The choice of the winning book was made by the award jury, drawn from the Library’s Writers Council, consisting of Laura Furman, the chair, editor of the O. Henry Prize Stories since 2002; novelist and biographer Lily Tuck, winner of the National Book Award in Fiction; and Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War, winner of the first American Library in Paris Book Award in 2013.

The Library received 102 eligible submissions for the 2015 award - 2015 Book Award List of Nominated Books. Submissions included fiction, history, biography, children's and young adult books, and books about travel, politics, food, and art. Book-length prose works originally written in English are eligible for the award.

Last modified on Monday, 11 July 2016 12:24