The Mad Women's Ball 




Victoria Mas

Thursday, November 9, 2023

11 h 00 - 12 h 00

Dublin City University, Glasnevin

 Room QG27

No booking - all welcome

An Interview with French author Victoria Mas

(in English)

Victoria Mas has worked in film in the United States, where she lived for eight years. She graduated from the Sorbonne in Contemporary Literature. Le Bal des Folles is her debut novel. It has been translated into 23 languages, adapted for the cinema and in comic book form.

Le Bal des folles, Paris, Éditions Albin Michel, 2019. 

‘The Mad Women’s Ball’  (transl. Frank Wynne), Penguin, 2021.

...about the book...

The Salpetriere Asylum: Paris, 1885. Dr. Charcot holds all of Paris in thrall with his displays of hypnotism on women who have been deemed mad and cast out from society. But the truth is much more complicated—these women are often simply inconvenient, unwanted wives, those who have lost something precious, wayward daughters, or girls born from adulterous relationships. For Parisian society, the highlight of the year is the Lenten ball—the Madwomen’s Ball—when the great and good come to gawk at the patients of the Salpetriere dressed up in their finery for one night only. For the women themselves, it is a rare moment of hope.

Genevieve is a senior nurse.  After the childhood death of her sister Blandine, she shunned religion and placed her faith in both the celebrated psychiatrist Dr. Charcot and science. But everything begins to change when she meets Eugenie—the 19-year-old daughter of a bourgeois family that has locked her away in the asylum. Because Eugenie has a secret: she sees spirits. Inspired by the scandalous, banned work that all of Paris is talking about, The Book of Spirits, Eugenie is determined to escape from the asylum—and the bonds of her gender—and seek out those who will believe in her. And for that she will need Genevieve's help . . . 

This event is organised by SALIS, DCU, in conjunction with the French Embassy in Ireland and the Alliance  Française, Dublin, under the aegis of the European Book Club.

On that evening, (Thursday 9th November 2023), Victoria Mas will also be interviewed for the European Book Club, a monthly series of talks on a European bestselling novel. The event will take place in Alliance Française Dublin (Kildare Street, Dublin 2). The interview conducted by Jean-Philippe Imbert (DCU) will be in English as well.