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JAKE LAMAR was born in 1961 and grew up in the Bronx, New York. After graduating from Harvard University, he spent six years writing for Time magazine. He has lived in Paris since 1993 and teaches creative writing at one of France's top universities, Sciences Po. He is the author of a memoir, seven novels, numerous essays, reviews and short stories, and a play. His most recent work, Viper's Dream, is both a crime novel and an audio drama, set in the jazz world of Harlem between 1936 and 1961.

He is a recipient of the Lyndhurst Prize (for his first book, Bourgeois Blues), a prestigious Centre National du Livre grant (for his novel Postérité), France’s Grand Prize for best foreign thriller (for his novel The Last Integrationist), and a Beaumarchais fellowship for his play Brothers in Exile. He is currently working on a memoir about his life in Paris.

Jake Lamar reads Richard Wright for the Centennial Celebrations of the American Library in Paris, May 2020.

Brothers in Exile

Listen to the French radio adaptation of Brothers in Exile which last aired on France Culture on February 2022.

Brothers in Exile is a play about the complex relationship between Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Chester Himes in Paris in the 1950s.

Books in English

Livres en français


19 - 20 November 2022

Noir sur la ville

Roman Noir Book Fair

Lamballe, France

7 - 9 October 2022

Lire en Poche

Book Fair

Gradignan, France

22 - 25 September 2022

Festival America

Vincennes, Paris

4 - 6 June 2022

Étonnants Voyageurs

International Book Festival

Saint-Malo, France

20 - 21 Mai 2022

La Parole est à la Défense

Roman Noir Festival

FNAC at la Défense, Paris

13 - 15 Mai 2022

Empreinte Carbonne

Festival Polar and Justice

Carbonne, France

7 - 8 Mai 2022

L'Envolée des Livres

Book Fair in Châteauroux, France

20 April 2022 at 6 pm

Un Peuple

Cinéma l'Arlequin, Paris

Sceening of the documentary followed by a debate

1 - 3 April 2022

Quais du Polar

International  Book Festival in Lyon

24 - 27 February 2022


Book Festival in Nantes

6 February 2022 at 8 pm

Brothers in Exile, Frères d'exil

Rebroadcast on France Culture

1 February 2022

American Library in Paris

Conversation with Pap Ndiaye

27 - 28 November 2021

Sang d'Encre

Festival of Crime Fiction

Vienne, France

8 - 10 October 2021

Toulouse Polars du Sud

Festival of Crime Fiction

Toulouse, France

30 September 2021 at 7pm

L'Humeur Vagabonde

Discussion and Book Signing

Paris, France

17 - 19 September 2021

Livres dans la Boucle

Book fair in Besançon, France

10 - 12 September 2021

Le livre sur la place

Book Fair in Nancy, France

Coming soon!

Viper's Dream will be published in English in April 2023

in the UK by

No Exit Press

in the USA by

Crooked Lane Books

The French version of Viper's Dream

was published in France by Rivages Noir in 2021

"For too long, Jake Lamar, an American expatriate in Paris, has been one of French Crime Fiction's best kept secrets. But now, at last, thanks to No Exit Press, VIPER'S DREAM, widely considered to be Jake Lamar's masterpiece, is published in English and it does not disappoint. VIPER'S DREAM is one Long High, sweeping us through Harlem from the 1930s to the 1960s on riffs of melancholy poetry cut through with the hardboiled beats of gangsters and their streets, leaving us hooked on a pure, true Jazz Noir Classic."

David Peace