Event Recap: FHS Annual Book Award Celebration

The New York Chapter of French Heritage Society (FHS) celebrated the winning author of the Seventh Annual French Heritage Society Book AwardEsther de Costa Meyer, for her extraordinary Dividing Paris: Urban Renewal and Social Inequality, 1852-1870 on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at a private club in Manhattan.

The program featured a cocktail reception, book signing, and discussion with Ms. da Costa Meyer moderated by Caroline Weber, Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College and author of Proust’s Duchess (recipient of the Third Annual FHS Book Award, and a former student of Ms. da Costa Meyer). 

Elizabeth F. Stribling, Chairman of FHS and Award Co-Chair, offered welcoming remarks ahead of the discussion. 

Jennifer Herlein, FHS Executive Director, presented Ms. Da Costa Meyer with the Jefferson Cup and $5,000 prize.

She also read a heartfelt letter to the author written by Christian Draz, FHS Board Member and Award Co-Chair. The evening concluded with an elegant dinner.

The event was made possible by FHS Book Award Co-Chairs Elizabeth F. Stribling and Christian Draz and the FHS Book Award Steering Committee, Clydette de Groot and Dena Kaye; and the New York Chapter Chairman, Guy N. Robinson. A jury comprised of Susan Hiner, Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Vassar College, Cheryl Hurley, Immediate Past President of the Library of America, and Caroline Weber chose Dividing Paris: Urban Renewal and Social Inequality, 1852-1970 unanimously from a shortlist of four titles which illuminate elements of French cultural and/or historical patrimony.


Esteemed Guests included FHS President Comte Denis de Kergolay, Board Members CeCe Black, Silvina Leone, Brenda Howard, Liz McDermott Barnes, and Jacqueline Wilson;, as well as Joel Bell and Marifé Hernández, Baroness Véronique Bich, Lee Black, Marian and Richard Bott, Rosalie Brinton, Michelle DeFeo, Carole and John French, April Gow, Penny Grant, Christopher Hailey, Elizabeth Harnett, Roberta and Arthur Hougton, Cheryl Hurley, Ambassador Brenda Johnson, Helen K. King, Lily O’Boyle, Titina Penzini and Carlos Valedon, Barbara de Portago, Paul Stuart Rankin, Stephanie Stokes, and Christopher English Walling. 

Upcoming FHS celebrations includeAnnual Dîner des Mécènes honoring Joseph Achkar and Michel Charrière in Paris on May 21st; Members’ Trip to Paris from May 22nd-24th; Second Annual Summer Soirée in the Hamptons on July 19th; Chairman’s Circle Trip to the Côtes du Rhône October 17th-23rd; New York Gala Dinner Dance at the University Club on November 15th

About French Heritage Society

Open to all lovers of France, French Heritage Society aims to ensure that the treasures of French architectural and cultural heritage survive to delight, educate, and inspire future generations. Over the past 42 years, FHS has given more than 6850 restoration and cultural grants to properties throughout France and in the U.S. and selected and supported over 580 university students who have crossed the Atlantic for internships at esteemed institutions. FHS has 11 chapters, 10 in the U.S. and one in Paris, and membership includes access to all. 

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