At the heart of WICE's commitment to cultural enrichment and connection lies its vibrant Literature program, a curated set of activities designed to cater to the diverse literary tastes of our international membership.

Upstairs at Duroc stands as a testament to WICE's contribution to the literary world. Established in 1999, this English-language literary magazine has become a beacon for both budding and seasoned writers. Published biennially, it showcases an eclectic mix of poetry and short prose, inviting contributions from the Parisian literary landscape and from gifted writers globally.

From Page to Stage: Readings of Award Winning Dramas

offers a unique rendezvous for theater enthusiasts. Meeting monthly, members immerse themselves in award-winning English-language plays that span various cultural backgrounds. With plays typically being two acts, and featuring 6-10 characters, the group works to ensure a gender balance among authors and a rich representation from British, Irish, American, and Scottish playwrights.

For those with a penchant for dissecting literary masterpieces, WICE offers several options:

  • Café Littéraire: Savoring French Literature in English gives members the chance to read and discuss French works that have English translations and that have won the prestigious Prix Goncourt, given for "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year", or the equally prestigious Prix Femina.
  • The Booker Book Club is dedicated to the exploration of Booker Prize laureates and nominees, providing insights into contemporary English-language literature's finest.

Storyscapes: Where Art Meets Text offers a singular experience, seamlessly blending the worlds of literature and art. Participants first delve into a chosen novel and subsequently embark on a guided tour of renowned museums such as the Louvre or Musée d'Orsay, where they use art pieces that resonate with the narrative's plot points, themes, characters, events, or locales to foster deeper connections and enriching discussions.

Lastly, Author Readings is a real treat for bibliophiles. Several times a year, WICE becomes the platform where novelists, poets, short story writers, and memoirists share their creations, allowing members an intimate glimpse into the author's world.

In essence, WICE's Literature program is a celebration of the written word, fostering connections and discussions, and enriching the cultural fabric of its community.

You can stay abreast of our literature program by subscribing to our newsletter, WICE Direct, by following us on FaceBook, or simply by checking on this page from time to time.


    • 11 Oct 2023
    • 13 Dec 2023
    • 3 sessions
    • Zoom online
    • 5

    Course Description

    Discover and discuss contemporary classics in this lively class for high-intermediate and advanced French speakers. You’ll read a book at home, either a short novel or play, then participate in a class discussion. The instructor will supply context and cultural elements, as well as discussion questions intended to spark reflection and debate. In the spirit of literary cafés, the class will help you gain a deeper knowledge of French societal issues and controversies.

    For the fall term, we will read Annie Ernaux’s La Place,  a short novel written after her father's death; Incendies, a play by Canadian-Lebanese author Wajdi Mouawad which was later made into a film by Canadian director Denis Villeneuve; and Le consentement by Vanessa Springora, a powerful look at her complicated involvement with the writer Gabriel Matzneff who pursued her when she was 14 and he was 50. A film based on the book is due in October.

    About the instructor

    Bleuenn Simon has taught French literature and French as a second language for over 18 years in France and in the United States. She is also a theater teacher, amateur actress, and author.


    • 01 Dec 2023
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • To Be Determined
    • 0
    Join waitlist
    This month's play is Agatha Christie's "Butter in a Lordly Dish," a 30-minute radio play that is a tale of revenge and deceit. The story revolves around Sir Luke Enderby KC, a prominent barrister and known womanizer, despite being married. He arranges a rendezvous with a mysterious woman, Lavinia, at a secluded cottage.

    Unbeknownst to Enderby, Lavinia has a hidden agenda. She is the daughter of a man whom Enderby had once prosecuted, leading to the man's execution and his wife's subsequent suicide. Lavinia seeks retribution for her parents' deaths.

    During a dinner at the cottage, Lavinia reveals her true identity and her tragic story. She serves Enderby a drugged meal, and as he succumbs to its effects, she discloses her plan to kill him in revenge. The play's title, derived from a biblical story, symbolizes the deceptive comfort that leads to Enderby's downfall, intertwining themes of justice, betrayal, and the consequences of one's past actions.

    • 14 Dec 2023
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • 120 rue la Boétie, Ground floor, Paris 75008
    • 12

    Joe Coppock squints at the world with his lazy eye. He reads his comics, collects birds’ eggs and treasures his marbles, particularly his prized dobbers. When Treacle Walker appears off the moor one day - a wanderer, a healer - an unlikely friendship is forged and the young boy is introduced to a world he could never have imagined.

    In this playful, moving and evocative fable the masterly Alan Garner delivers both a stunning fusion of myth and folklore and a profound exploration of the fluidity of time.

    – The Booker Prizes

    • 15 Dec 2023
    • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • 120 rue la Boétie, 75008 (ground floor), 75008
    • 7

    Winner of the 2009 Prix Femina, this semi-autobiographical book delves into the complexities of mental illness and the relationship between a daughter and her father, who suffers from bipolar disorder.

    The novel is structured uniquely, with each chapter titled after an alphabetical letter, each representing a different aspect or identity of her father. This stylistic choice reflects the fragmented and multifaceted nature of both her father's personality and the impact of his illness on their lives. The narrative blends reality with fiction, philosophy with personal narrative, creating a poignant and introspective exploration of identity, memory, and the struggle to understand a loved one's mental illness.

    Lauréat du prix Femina 2009, ce livre semi-autobiographique aborde les complexités de la maladie mentale et la relation entre une fille et son père, qui souffre de troubles bipolaires.

    Le roman est structuré de manière unique, chaque chapitre étant intitulé d'après une lettre alphabétique, chacune représentant un aspect ou une identité différente de son père. Ce choix stylistique reflète la nature fragmentée et multiforme de la personnalité de son père et l'impact de sa maladie sur leur vie. Le récit mêle réalité et fiction, philosophie et récit personnel, créant une exploration poignante et introspective de l'identité, de la mémoire et de la lutte pour comprendre la maladie mentale d'un être cher.

    Gwenaëlle Aubry's work is known for its deep philosophical undertones, influenced by her background in philosophy. "Personne" has been recognized for its literary merit and has received critical acclaim for its insightful and empathetic portrayal of mental illness and its effects on family dynamics.

    L'œuvre de Gwenaëlle Aubry est connue pour ses nuances philosophiques profondes, influencées par sa formation en philosophie. "Personne" a été reconnu pour ses qualités littéraires et a été salué par la critique pour sa description empathique de la maladie mentale et de ses effets sur la dynamique familiale.

    The door code and telephone number will be sent with the 1-day reminder email.

    About the Organizer

    Victoria Wilhelm, who will be leading the discussion, is a graduate student in French Literature and Culture at the Sorbonne, in Paris.

    • 19 Jan 2024
    • 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
    • To Be Determined
    • 12

    On the 3rd Friday of the month, WICE has a cold play reading group that is open to all WICE members. This group gathers and reads out loud various plays that meet the following criteria:

    • English language 
    • Award winning
    • One or two acts
    • 6 - 9 characters

    Plays are chosen on a month-to-month basis primarily (but not exclusively) from the candidate list of plays located on our webpage, From Page to Stage: Readings of Award-Winning Plays.

    Registration the January session opens on 02 December.

    • 26 Jan 2024
    • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
    • 120 rue la Boétie, 75008 (ground floor)
    • 9

    Naïma is a young French woman working in a Parisian art gallery. She represents the third generation of her family, whose roots trace back to Algeria.

    Throughout the novel, Naïma grapples with questions of identity, belonging, and the complex history of her family. Her grandfather, who immigrated to France from Algeria, carries with him the memories and traumas of the Algerian War of Independence, a subject that has always been taboo in their family.

    Driven by a need to understand her family's past and her place within it, Naïma embarks on a journey to explore her Algerian heritage. This takes her to Algeria, where she learns about her family's history and the broader context of Franco-Algerian relations.

    Deriving its title from the first line of Elizabeth Bishop's seminal poem "One Art," Alice Zeniter's "The Art of Losing" also won the Dublin Literary Award,  the 2017 Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, the Porte Dorée Literary Prize, and Le Monde's Literary Prize.

    Naïma est une jeune femme française qui travaille dans une galerie d'art parisienne. Elle représente la troisième génération de sa famille, dont les racines remontent à l'Algérie.

    Tout au long du roman, Naïma est confrontée à des questions d'identité, d'appartenance et à l'histoire complexe de sa famille. Son grand-père, qui a immigré d'Algérie en France, porte en lui les souvenirs et les traumatismes de la guerre d'indépendance algérienne, un sujet qui a toujours été tabou dans la famille.

    Poussée par le besoin de comprendre le passé de sa famille et la place qu'elle y occupe, Naïma entreprend un voyage à la découverte de son héritage algérien. Elle se rend en Algérie, où elle découvre l'histoire de sa famille et le contexte plus large des relations franco-algériennes.

    Tirant son titre du premier vers du poème fondateur d'Elizabeth Bishop "One Art", "The Art of Losing" d'Alice Zeniter a également remporté le Dublin Literary Award, le prix Goncourt des lycéens 2017, le prix littéraire de la Porte Dorée et le prix littéraire du Monde.

    Registration opens on 16 December 2023.

    The door code and telephone number will be sent with the 1-day reminder email.

    • 02 Feb 2024
    • 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    • The Louvre
    • 8

    Event Description

    In this novel (pardon the pun) offering, WICE attendees will read Jeanette Winterson’s 1987 novel “The Passion,” and then tour the Louvre examining and discussing different paintings that relate to the novel’s plot, themes, characters, events, and locations.

    “The Passion” is described on Amazon as “Set during the tumultuous years of the Napoleonic Wars, The Passion intertwines the destinies of two remarkable people: Henri, a simple French soldier, who follows Napoleon from glory to Russian ruin; and Villanelle, the red-haired, web-footed daughter of a Venetian boatman, whose husband has gambled away her heart. In Venice's compound of carnival, chance, and darkness, the pair meet their singular destiny.”

    The exact meeting place will be emailed the day before the event. The event is expected to last approximately three hours, including time for coffee or drinks afterwards to socialize.

    About the Instructor

    Robin Price is a long-time Paris habitué, beginning with having run away from home at age 17 to attend her senior year in high school here.

    She majored in French and Art History as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, and routinely participates in similar book/museum tours in her home town of Minneapolis, MN

    • 16 Feb 2024
    • 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
    • To Be Announced
    • 12

    On the 3rd Friday of the month, WICE has a cold play reading group that is open to all WICE members. This group gathers and reads out loud various plays that meet the following criteria:

    • English language 
    • Award winning
    • One or two acts
    • 6 - 9 characters

    Plays are chosen on a month-to-month basis primarily (but not exclusively) from the candidate list of plays located on our webpage, From Page to Stage: Readings of Award-Winning Plays.

    Registration the February session opens on 20 January.

    • 23 Feb 2024
    • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
    • To Be Announced
    • 8

    In this 2018 Goncourt Prize winner, author Éric Vuillard follows the actions of European politicians and business leaders in the run up to World War II.

    The novel tells the fascinating account of the failed diplomacy, broken relationships, and the catastrophic momentum that led to the war.

    The leaders of German industry—believing they will prosper under the Nazi regime—agree to lend their support to Adolph Hitler. Of course, things don't go entirely as planned, and as on thing leads to another, the world slides inexorably towards the abyss.

    Not quite fiction, but not quite fact, the French describe it as a récit, while the English newspaper The Guardian calls it "an historical essay with literary flourishes."

    The Guardian said: "However you decide to categorise it, this is a thoroughly gripping and mesmerising work of black comedy and political disaster. It seems designed single-mindedly to remind us that, as it says, “Great catastrophes often creep up on us in tiny steps.”

    • 15 Mar 2024
    • 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
    • To Be Announced
    • 12

    On the 3rd Friday of the month, WICE has a cold play reading group that is open to all WICE members. This group gathers and reads out loud various plays that meet the following criteria:

    • English language 
    • Award winning
    • One or two acts
    • 6 - 9 characters

    Plays are chosen on a month-to-month basis primarily (but not exclusively) from the candidate list of plays located on our webpage, From Page to Stage: Readings of Award-Winning Plays.

    Registration the March session opens on 17 February.

    • 22 Mar 2024
    • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
    • To Be Announced
    • 9

    "L'Œuvre au Noir" is a historical novel chronicling the life of the fictional character Zeno, a 16th-century physician, alchemist, and philosopher.

    Set during the Renaissance, a time of great scientific and philosophical upheaval, the novel delves into Zeno's quest for knowledge in various fields such as medicine, alchemy, and humanism. His intellectual pursuits, often in conflict with religious orthodoxy, lead him to face persecution and personal struggles.

    Yourcenar's novel explores themes of intellectual freedom, existential quest, and the tension between science and religion. Her prose weaves historical accuracy with profound character insight, capturing the zeitgeist of the Renaissance.

    "L'Œuvre au Noir" is a complex and richly layered novel that portrays the life of an intellectual pioneer in an era teetering between medieval superstition and the dawn of modernity.

    Registration opens on Friday, 24 November.

Past events

24 Nov 2023 LN241 L'Anomalie (The Anomaly), by Hervé le Tellier
23 Nov 2023 LN231 Booker Book Club: Small Things Like These
27 Oct 2023 LO271 Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter), by Simone de Beauvoir
09 Jun 2023 WU0901 Grey Bees (Les Abeilles grises) by Andrey Kurkov
12 May 2023 WY1201 Nos richesses (Our Riches / A Bookshop in Algiers) by Kaouther Adimi
29 Apr 2023 WA2201 The Craft of Writing - Spring Edition
24 Apr 2023 BA241 French Lit for Fun
10 Mar 2023 WM1002 Literary Louvre Walk
10 Mar 2023 WM1001 Trio (Trio, Éditions Seuil), by William Boyd
01 Mar 2023 WM011 Haiku: How to Enjoy, Write, and Publish Them
10 Feb 2023 WF101 - The Siege (La Faim), by Helen Dunmore
13 Jan 2023 WJ131 - The Catcher in the Rye (L'Attrape-cœurs) by J.D. Salinger.
09 Dec 2022 WD091 Bilingual Book Group "Small Things Like These" (Ce genre de petites choses), by Claire Keegan
18 Nov 2022 WN181 Bilingual Book Group "The Hummingbird" (Le Colibri/Il Colibri), by Sandro Veronesi
18 Oct 2022 WO111 Flash Fiction
14 Oct 2022 WO141 Bilingual Book Group "What's Left of Me Is Yours" (Ce qu'il me reste de toi), by Sephanie Scott (Meet the Author)
09 Sep 2022 WS91 Bilingual Book Group "The Promise" (La Promesse), by Damon Galgut
27 Jun 2022 WU274 PWW Creative Nonfiction Master Class: Creative Nonfiction Projects with Jeffrey Greene
27 Jun 2022 WU272 PWW Short Story Master Class: Writing and Publishing the Short Story
27 Jun 2022 WU273 PWW Poetry Master Class: Poetry: What Can Language Do?
10 Jun 2022 WU101: Summer Light, and Then Comes The Night (Lumière d'été, puis vient la nuit / Sumarljós og svo kemur nóttin) by Jón Kalman Stefánsson
13 May 2022 WM111 Bilingual Book Group: Il treno dei Bambini (Le Train des enfants/The Children's Train) by Viola Ardone
08 Apr 2022 WA081 Bilingual Book Group: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World (10 minutes et 38 secondes dans ce monde étrange) by Elif Shafak
11 Mar 2022 WM111 Bilingual Book Group: "Love After Love" - Ingrid Persaud (Meet the Author & Translator)
11 Feb 2022 WF111 Bilingual Book Group: Heart of Darkness (Au cœur des ténèbres) by Joseph Conrad
14 Jan 2022 WJ141 The Women of the Castle (Château de femmes) by Jessica Shattuck
10 Dec 2021 WD101 Here We Are (Le grand jeu) by Graham Swift
19 Nov 2021 WN051 Runaway (Fugitives) by Alice Munro (Group 2)
08 Oct 2021 W081 Bilingual Book Group : Frère d'âme (At Night All Blood is Black) by David Diop
20 Jan 2021 WICE Talks: Pancakes in the City of Light with Author Craig Carlson
01 Jul 2016 PWL012 Literary Dinner
30 Jun 2016 PWU302 Expert Panel
30 Jun 2016 PWU301 Literary Agent Consultation
28 Jun 2016 PWU281 WICE Paris Writers’ Workshop Literary Walk
27 Jun 2014 PWU271 Literary Agent Consultation
24 Jun 2014 PWU241 The Art of Novel Writing
24 Jun 2014 PWU242 The Art of Non-Fiction Writing
24 Jun 2014 PWU243 The Essentials of Screenplay Writing
24 Jun 2014 PWU244 The Art of Writing Novella and Short Story
27 Sep 2011 WS271 Seeing Paris through Literature