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Like a Sky Inside: A Conversation with Jakuta Alikavazovic


Photo Courtesy of Jakuta Alikavazovic

Lost City Books
2467 18th Street, Northwest
Washington, DC, United States 20009

Monday, May 6th 2024 | 7:00pm


Join us for a reading, Q&A, and book signing to celebrate the English translation of Jakuta Alikavazovic’s Like a Sky Inside (Comme un ciel en nous).


In March 2020, as part of Alina Gurdiel’s series Ma nuit au musée, where writers are invited to spend a night in a museum, Jakuta Alikavazovic camped out in the Louvre Museum. At home: her nine-month-old son. In her overnight bag: a notebook, a toiletry kit, a duvet, a cube of nougat, and something that shouldn’t be there. In her head: memories of the Venus de Milo, of land art and the American road, of romance, travel, immigration and war, and of her father, who after each of their many visits to the Louvre would ask just how she’d go about stealing the Mona Lisa. Like A Sky Inside is an insightful and heartfelt meditation on the possibilities and impossibilities of art, on parenthood and the betrayals of growing up, on foreignness and belonging, and on the secret conversations between our souls and the places that linger in our dreams.


“A perfect sculpture of pure thought, the kind of artwork that makes you want to steal it, a generous and joyful book that stitches memory and philosophy and narrative together so elegantly I was completely enthralled.” Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X and Pew.

Like a Sky Inside is about a night spent at the Louvre, but really it is about art and enchantment, exile and longing. Above all, it is a devastatingly tender portrait of Alikavazovic’s relationship with her father, written with unsurpassed brio, intelligence, and empathy.” Katie Kitamura, author of Intimacies and A Separation

About Jakuta Alikavazovic

She was born in Paris to a family of Bosnian and Montenegrin origins. Her parents settled in France in the early 1970’s and Jakuta Alikavazovic was brought up bilingual, with close ties to her Bosnian and Montenegrin relatives. In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Goncourt Prize for a first novel and more recently, the Médicis Prize for non-fiction with her latest work Like A Sky Inside (Comme un ciel en nous, Stock; trans. by Daniel Levin Becker, Fern Books, 2024). She is also a columnist for the French newspaper Libération and the translator into French of authors including Toni Morrison and David Foster Wallace.

About the Translator

Daniel Levin Becker is the author of Many Subtle Channels and What’s Good and the translator of, most recently, Éric Chevillard’s Museum Visits and Laurent Mauvignier’s The Birthday Party, which was long-listed for the International Booker Prize and the Dublin Literary Award.

This event is part of Villa Albertine’s Authors on Tour program. Jakuta Alikavazovic’s 2024 US tour is also made possible by Fern Books.

In partnership with

Lost City Books

Lost City Books is owned by Adam, a veteran and dog-lover, a long-time resident of DC, and an enthusiastic disseminator of books. Our small team is a collection of some of DC’s coolest kids: artists, educators, musicians, writers, and—of course—avid readers all coming together to enrich this unique environment. Find out more on their website: Lost City Books Website


Fern Books is a small press unhurriedly dedicated to forms of writing, and ideas about publishing, that are thoughtful and generous and expansive. They are interested in literary risk-taking, adventures in form and content and authorship, and the connections and relationships fostered between books and their readers. They aim to think out loud, as it were, about whose imaginations literary text can stir, what makes text literary in the first place, and what shapes besides bound printed matter it might take. As they work on answering these questions, they plan to publish books—among other things—that they believe make the world a more enchanting, welcoming, and sane place.

Read more.

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