Past Event

The Wizard of the Kremlin. Conversation with Giuliano da Empoli

November 15, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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East Gallery, Maison Française, Buell Hall

The Columbia students of Choix Goncourt USA 2023 and the French Cultural Society invite you to an exceptional conversation with Giuliano da Empoli, author of The Wizard of the Kremlin (Other Press, 2023), his unanimously acclaimed first novel.

The book delves into the workings of the Putin era through the confession of a character directly inspired by a real person: Vladislav Surkov, former advisor to Vladimir Putin and main ideologue of the Kremlin in the 2000s. The Wizard of the Kremlin offers a meditation on power, from the Yeltsin years to the beginnings of the war in Ukraine. Fiction becomes a fascinating tool of political analysis. The Wizard of the Kremlin quickly became a bestseller in France and Italy. It received the Grand Prix du roman from the Académie française and is currently being translated into 30 languages. It has just been published in English by Other Press (translation by Willard Wood).

"A Hit French Novel Tries to Explain Putin. Too Well, Some Critics Say". Read the New York Times review on the novel

Giuliano da Empoli is an Italian-Swiss writer specialized in political science and the author of numerous essays. He was deputy mayor for culture of the city of Florence, Italy (2009-2012), and an advisor to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (2014-2016). He teaches at Sciences Po Paris.

The conversation will take place in English. It will be moderated by Brooke Habit, doctoral student in French at Columbia University, and Maxence Genouville, student in the Dual BA Sciences Po – Columbia.

This event is co-sponsored by Columbia Maison Française, French department, Other Press and FCS.