The literature of Jonathan Littell, especially his bestselling novel The Kindly Ones, is typified by a ferocious forensic sensibility to spaces, ruins, and the human body. In this conversation the origins of Littell’s literary sensibility will be traced to his work as a humanitarian during the Chechnya war and his subsequent war journalism in Syria and elsewhere.
Jonathan Littell is author of the novel Les Bienveillantes (Prix Goncourt and the Académie Française's Prix de Littérature, Éditions Gallimard, 2006), published in English as The Kindly Ones, as well as several other books. Previously he worked for the humanitarian agency Action Contre la Faim in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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