Event Details

The Event

Albert Camus' novel The Plague will go down in literary history as the most talked about book of the COVID-19 crisis. Originally intended as an allegory of WWII, this story of an epidemic has been a staple of literature classes since 1947. Generations of students have learned that Camus was "really" writing about his experience of World War II.

This March, that reading tradition was transformed. The epidemic brought the novel close to readers who began to read it as a book about their own lives--a book to help them get through a global health crisis. Keeping in mind this new readership, we will offer a personal and literary meditation on living and working with The Plague during a global pandemic.


The language of the event will be English.

Please note: All attendee information collected by Yale Center Beijing through the event registration form on this website, or by any other means, will be kept strictly confidential. Yale Center Beijing will never distribute, sell, license, or otherwise make available for any purpose, any attendee information to any third party, unless otherwise required by law.


  • Alice Kaplan (Sterling Professor of French and Director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University)

    Alice Kaplan

    Sterling Professor of French and Director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University

    Alice Kaplan is Sterling Professor of French and the newly appointed Director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale. Her books include the memoir French Lessons (Nominee, National Book Critics Circle Award, 1993); histories of French fascism and literature such as The Collaborator (Finalist, National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History, 2000); and, most recently, an examination of the life and work of Albert Camus, Looking for the Stranger (New York Times Notable Book and finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award and Prix Medicis Essai, 2016).

    Kaplan is a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the French Légion d’Honneur. She also is a trustee of the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, and a founding member of the MaisonDAR collective in Algiers.

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  • Laura Marris (Writer, Translator)

    Laura Marris

    Writer, Translator

    Laura Marris '10 is a writer and translator. She holds a B.A. from Yale and an M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The North American Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and a Daniel Varoujan Award.

    Recent translation projects include Paol Keineg’s Triste Tristan (translated with Rosmarie Waldrop for Burning Deck), a graphic novel version of Proust (Liveright), and Louis Guilloux’s Blood Dark (NYRB), which was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. She teaches creative writing at the University at Buffalo and is currently at work on a new translation of Albert Camus' The Plague.

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