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Jake Lamar: Combining history and mythology

Jake Lamar
Ulf Anderson
Jake Lamar

Writer Jake Lamar talks about growing up in the Bronx, his lifelong love affair with writing, moving to France in the 90s, his career as a novelist, playwright, and cultural critic in Paris, and his new book Viper’s Dream, a Jazz Noir crime novel set in the jazz world of Harlem between 1936 and 1961.

After graduating from Harvard University, Lamar spent six years writing for Time magazine. He has lived in Paris since 1993 and teaches creative writing at Sciences Po. At age 30, he published a memoir, Bourgeois Blues, in which he evoked his relationship with his father. With it, he won the Lyndhurst Prize.

In 1993, inspired by the American writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Richard Wright, and James Baldwin, he moved to Paris in the 18th arrondissement where he still resides. In 1996 he published The Last Integrationist, a novel of contemporary America, criticizing the pace of racial integration and the omnipresent television spectacle he sees as typical of the United States. He is the author of a memoir, seven novels, numerous essays, reviews and short stories, and a play.

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Leo Sidran is a Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist musician, producer, arranger, composer, recording artist and podcast host based in Brooklyn, New York.