On Thursday evening, we put on our fanciest dresses to celebrate acclaimed author Agnès Poirier, as her incredible book Notre Dame: The Soul of France was unanimously selected as the recipient for the French Herritage Society’s Fifth Annual Book Award. Poirier was presented with both the award and the Jefferson Cup, a highly honorable award to receive as it was designed by Thomas Jefferson. Notre Dame: The Soul of France tells the fascinating story of the creation, history and near destruction of Notre-Dame – and the controversy behind the plans for its reconstruction, now two years after the devastating fire of April 2019. Poirier pours her heart and soul into this story, starting out by retelling the story of the morning of the fire, from her own eyes as she watched the smoke rise from the window of her apartment. She read the first few paragraphs aloud to the audience at the gala, her emotional tribute resonating with everyone in the room.
After hearing Agnès speak, she sat down for an insightful conversation with Laura Auricchio, the dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. The two talked about the process for writing the book, and how the events of the fire resonated with them personally. It was brilliant to hear both women speak, as their intelligence and fascinating stories created such a wonderful talk.
Celebration was also in order as the event kicked off the fortieth anniversary year of the French Heritage Society in New York City! Agnès’s book is a brilliant way to kick off this miraculous achievement, as her book truly captures the soul of France, as the title states.
Hear more about Agnès Poirier and read her award winning novel here!