A conversation with Percival Everett : The Trees, looking back on 40 years of writing

Date : 1er mars 2024
Horaire : 13h30-18h30
Lieu : Université Paris Cité | Olympe de Gouges Building | room 166 | Paris & Visioconférence

Co-organized by Aurore Clavier (LARCA, « Frontières du Littéraire ») and Anne-Laure Tissut (ERIAC and LARCA)

Although he objects to being labeled an African-American writer, Percival Everett has been exploring not the Black American experience but the diverse experiences of Black people in the United States, a group whose heterogeneity is negated by White stereotypes. Granted, as underlined by Everett, questioning identity cannot be put forward as a characterizing feature of his work, being as it is an ongoing quest in anybody’s existence; but in his art it takes the form of a radical challenging of all prejudice, the better to unveil the underpinnings of the apparently most neutral thoughts and behaviors. From one book to the other the investigation builds up, creating what its author conceives of as « one big novel », which seems to have reached a climax with The Trees (2021). Indeed this novel sheds light upon Everett’s work as a whole while giving a new impulse to its main questions. Starting from this novel, the event aims at looking back upon Everett’s work and its driving lines, through a conversation with the writer, who will join it online from Los Angeles at 5pm, as well as through the projection of Alexandre Westphal’s documentary The Writer and his Double (2022).


1.30 pm — Introduction

2.10 pm — Movie showing : The Writer and his Double

3.30 pmCoffee break

4-5 pm — Discussion of the movie and of Everett’s work

5-6.30 pm — Conversation with Percival Everett online


  • Aurore Clavier (LARCA)
  • Percival Everett
  • George Kowalik (King’s College, Londres)
  • Anne-Laure Tissut (Rouen University, ERIAC, associate member of LARCA)
  • Alexandre Westphal (movie-maker)

| Link for distant participation
ID de réunion: 842 8811 4815
Code secret: 401125