Welcome to the website of the French Institute of South Africa!
Bienvenue sur le site de l'Institut Français d'Afrique du Sud !
Laurent Binet, author of HHhH, the 2010 Prix Goncourt du premier Roman, is invited to a series of talks around literature and history in South Africa:
- Sat. 18 - Sun. 19 May
Franschhoek Literary Festival
- Tues. 21 May
- - -
SAT. 18 - SUN. 19 MAY
FRANSCHHOEK LITERARY FESTIVAL
Sat. 18 May – 10.00
World War II
Distinguished war historian Antony Beevor (The Second World War) engages with French academic and novelist Laurent Binet (HHhH), chaired by Professor Bill Nasson (South Africa at War 1939-1945).
Sun. 19 May – 11.30
Laurent Binet, whose novel HHhH about the assassination of Heydrich won the Prix Goncourt for a first novel in 2010, in conversation with Tymon Smith.
Sun. 19 May – 14.00
Prisms on the past
Lynda Gilfillan explores the possibilities of historical fiction with Laurent Binet, author of HHhH, and Claire Robertson, author of The Spiral House.
TUES. 21 MAY
18.30 for 19.00
Liliesleaf - 7 George Avenue, Rivonia, Sandton
“Writing about memory” - talk with Laurent Binet and Tali Nates, director of The Holocaust & Genocide Centre in Johannesburg
In partnership with the LiliesLeaf Trust, The Holocaust & Genocide Centre in Johannesburg and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in South Africa
Light snacks will be served before the event
+27 11 803 7882
rench writer Laurent Binet (1972) was awarded the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman for his debut novel, HHhH. which recounts the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.
In August 2012, Binet published “Rien ne se passe comme prévu” ("Nothing goes as planned"), a behind-the-scenes account of the successful presidential campaign of François Hollande, which Binet witnessed while embedded with Hollande's campaign staff.
Laurent Binet is a professor at the University of Paris III, where he lectures on French literature.
‘HHhH blew me away. Binet's style fuses it all together: a neutral, journalistic honesty sustained with a fiction writer's zeal and story-telling instincts. It's one of the best historical novels I've ever come across.' - Bret Easton Ellis
‘A work of absolute originality’ - Claude Lanzmann
‘Laurent Binet's brilliantly gripping 'HHhH' resets the path of the historical novel’ - The Telegraph
Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Nazi secret services, 'the hangman of Prague', 'the blond beast', 'the most dangerous man in the Third Reich'.
His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says 'Himmler's brain is called Heydrich', which in German spells HHhH.
All the characters in HHhH are real. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are a novelist writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up?
HHhH is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is improbably entertaining and electrifyingly modern, a moving and shattering work of fiction.
HHhH is one of The New York Times' Notable Books of 2012.