THAD CARHART WINS
2018 French Heritage
Thad Carhart’s memoir Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France, has been selected as the winner of the French Heritage Society’s annual Literary Award for 2018. Announced in May of 2018, the prize is the pre-eminent award for a work in English whose subject illuminates for the general public an important element of French cultural history. Recognizing the deep and lasting influence of France’s culture on American history and thought is central to the award’s purpose.
The prize is awarded annually by the New York-based French Heritage Society, which counts 11 chapters in the U.S. and France.
Silver Award Cup
This year’s jury was composed of Laura Auricchio, Professor of Art History at Parsons School of Design; Anne Poulet, Director Emerita of The Frick Collection; and Elaine Sciolino, contributing writer and former Paris Bureau Chief for the New York Times.
As this year’s honoree, Carhart received a cash prize as well as a replica of a silver goblet designed by Thomas Jefferson while he served as Minister to France. An awards ceremony and dinner, chaired by Elizabeth Stribling and Christian Draz, were held in May of 2018 at a private club in New York.
Signing session at New York event
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“Mr. Carhart is a vivid writer, who can plunge the reader right into his experiences… Few writers are more sensitive or susceptible to the beauties of Paris and the French countryside, but it is one of the chief strengths of this warts-and-all portrait that the atmosphere of France and the distinctive characteristics of its people are evoked in their entirety.”
—The Washington Times
“A vivid picture of the rhythms and flavor of post-war France.”
—Northampton Daily Hampshire Gazette
“Carhart turns his observant eye on small, sometimes odd-seeming details—the once-ubiquitous Turkish toilets in cafes, the uniquely French method of taking household inventory, French cars of the 1950s. These lovely digressions, along with Carhart’s own family’s story, illuminate French culture in an appealing way.”
“Part memoir, part history, part love letter to France—Thad Carhart’s adopted home—Finding Fontainebleau is a fun, intriguing meditation on time, place, and nationality. I don’t think I can pay it a greater compliment than to report that reading it sent me to Paris’s Gare de Lyon, there to board a train to Fontainebleau, which I saw with new eyes.”
—Penelope Rowlands, author of Paris Was Ours
“Charming and vivid and sweet, Finding Fontainebleau is full of the hopeful ambiance of Americans discovering France in the post-war era.”
—Alice Kaplan, author of French Lessons and Dreaming in French