December 2014: Shakespeare and Company Events

December 2014: Shakespeare and Company Events

Warmest December greetings to all of you! As Paris grows whiter and more wintry, it feels snugger and cosier than ever inside the shop. And we have a glowing events line-up this month to tempt you in from the chilly streets… We’re kicking off with a look to another, sunnier hemisphere with the launch of a new South African poetry anthology, and we’re wrapping up the year with two very exciting occasions—an evening with French literary legend and provocateur Frédéric Beigbeder and another with the always witty and wise British author Matt Haig. There are glorious things in between, too….

+— Monday 1st December 7pm —+


Launch of In the Heat of Shadows: South African Poetry 1996-2013

We’d love you to join us for the book launch of In the Heat of Shadows: South African Poetry 1996-2013, an evening celebrating the language and rhythms of South Africa. The anthology, edited by Denis Hirson, includes work by many of South Africa’s leading poets.

For the launch, readings from the anthology will be accompanied by music. The readers are: poets from the anthology, Isobel Dixon and Kate Kilalea; a translator of the poetry from the anthology into English, Mike Dickman; Paris-based writers Nancy Huston and Ellen Hinsey; actress Sonia Emmanuel; debating maestro Declan McCavana; and Denis Hirson. Steve Potts will play the saxophone.

+— Wednesday 3rd December 3pm —+


Children’s Hour—music, rhythm, and stories for kids. Bring your children (2-6 year-olds, siblings welcome too) to the library at Shakespeare and Company for an hour of music, songs, and stories in English (for all nationalities, even those who don’t speak English). Led by the magic Kate Stables, mum and singer/songwriter from This is the Kit, this lovely event has become an institution. There will be instruments to play and a lot of noise to make! Four euros donation appreciated.

Due to space restrictions, we ask that you email Kate at to confirm your place, and also that each child is accompanied by only one adult. Thanks, all!

+— Wednesday 3rd December 7pm —+


Philosophers in the Library presents… Shlomo Sand

Israeli historian Shlomo Sand will be joining us to discuss his acclaimed new autobiographical essay on Jewish identity, How I Stopped Being a Jew.

Shlomo Sand studied History at the University of Tel Aviv and at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, in Paris. He currently teaches contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv. His previous books include The Invention of the Jewish PeopleOn the Nation and the Jewish People, and The Invention of the Land of Israel.

 +— Wednesday 10th December 6pm —+


The Bard-en-Seine Readings: Antony and Cleopatra

Throughout 2014, in honour of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, we’ve hosted the Bard-en-Seine Readings. The goal was simple: to revisit and celebrate some of Shakespeare’s most loved plays.

For December, the final play will be Antony and Cleopatra, and the reading will take place on Wednesday 10th at 6pm, in the library.

If you’d like to take part, please email Milly Unwin at, and tell her whether you’d prefer a larger or a smaller role. Parts will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis, and we’ll let you know a week in advance of the reading whether you have a role. No preparation necessary, and we’ll provide the scripts. Please note that, due to space restrictions, the Bard-en-Seine Readings will only be open to those taking part.

+— Thursday 11th December 7pm —+


Shakespeare and Company presents Joy to the World! An evening of Christmas Song and Cheer

Join the staff and friends of Shakespeare and Company for an evening of singing outside the bookstore. Wrap up (very) warm and get ready to sing your hearts out around the Christmas tree with warm mince pies and mulled wine!

All are welcome to attend and no singing experience is necessary. For any questions please contact

A suggested €2 donation will be collected to support the work of the Arméé du Salut who provide approximately 950 meals for some of the poorest people in Paris every evening at their ‘Soupes de Nuit’.

Song sheets will be provided but if you’d like to practise the words and tunes beforehand please see the list below of the songs we’ll be singing….

We Three Kings of Orient Are

All I Want for Christmas

Il est ne le Divin Enfant

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

Silent Night

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

Deck the Halls

Winter Wonderland

Away in a Manager

Jingle Bells

Ding Dong Merrily on High

Twelve Days of Christmas

Silent Night

Winter Wonderland

Angels from the Realm of Glory

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Mon beau sapin (O Christmas Tree)

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Let it Snow

Joy to the World!


+— Friday 12th December 7pm —+


Frédéric Beigbeder and Shakespeare and Company present… An Evening with J.D. Salinger

Mesdames et Messieurs, we would be honoured if you might join us for an evening of heartbreak and war, presided over by Frédéric Beigbeder and the spirit of J.D. Salinger, in the presence of Mrs Annie Chaplin, daughter of Oona O’Neill and Charlie Chaplin.

We’ll be celebrating the publication of Oona & Salinger, a book of fic- and fact-ion charting the love affair of Oona O’Neill and J.D. Salinger, with a reading of The Heart of a Broken Story, a work by Salinger that has been neither seen nor heard since its publication in Esquire 73 years ago. This and other intrigues in store…

+— Monday 15th December 7pm —+


We’re very, very excited to present Matt Haig on his sad, funny, brilliant novel The Humans and its new companion compendium Humans: An A-Z.

The Humans is about love and alienation and actual aliens and Matt Haig [hyperlink] is a very wise and very entertaining man.

We’re pleased too that this event falls near Christmas, a time when many people struggle with their mental health and could use a little reflection on the often very tricky state of being human…

+— Tuesday 16th December 7pm —+



Join us in the library for a dramatic reading of Walt and Emily—Between the Rooms, a play by acclaimed music journalist Jonathan Cott that imagines a dialogue between the two great poets—Dickinson and Whitman—using their own words.

The parts of Walt and Emily will be read by English actors Conrad Cecil and Lola Peploe.



Most events take place upstairs in the library (30 seats), on the ground level (50 seats), or outside in front of the bookshop (weather permitting). During the events, the sound from the readings and discussions is projected around the entire store. We recommend you arrive 15-30 minutes early to try and get a seat as there is limited space. All our events are free and open to all.

About Laura

Laura Keeling is Events and Communications Manager at Shakespeare and Company.