The Boivin Center for French Language and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, proudly announces its first program of the fall semester, Paris in the Present Tense, featuring the author of this great novel, Mark Helprin.  The program will take place on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 4 PM in the Grand Reading Room of the Claire T. Carney Library on the UMass Dartmouth campus.

Mark Helprin is a best-selling New York Times novelist, short story writer, journalist and conservative commentator.  He is married to Lynn Kennedy.  He and his wife have two daughters and live on a farm in Virginia.

Mr. Helprin was educated at Harvard University (BA) and at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (MA).  He has also done post-graduate work at Princeton University, Magdalen College and the University of Oxford.  His novels include:  Refiner’s Fire:  The Life and Adventures of Marshall Pearl, a Foundling; Winter’s Tale; A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy and Frederick and Sunlight and Shadow.

Helprin’s latest book, Paris in the Present Tense, is set in present day Paris and depicts the life of seventy-four year old, Jules Lacour, a maître at Paris Sorbonne, a cellist, widower, veteran of the war in Algeria and a child of the Holocaust.  In the twilight of his life,  he struggles to find a balance between his strong obligations to the past and the attractions and beauties of life and love in the present.

A Q&A will follow the lecture as well as a book signing and light reception.  The program is free and open to the public.  Parking is available on campus in lot 13.



For further information, please contact Maria Sanguinetti at or by calling her at 508-991-5096.

Past events

Illustrious individuals who have honored the Boivin Center with their presence

  • 1986: Alice Parizeau, Lucie Therrien
  • 1988: Jean-François Somain
  • 1989: Roch Carrier, Roger Violette, Omer Boivin, Lois Pines
  • 1991: Pierre Capretz, Dr.Gaëtan Brulotte
  • 1992: Brian Thompson, Gérard Le Tendre, Jacques Borel
  • 1993: Naïm Kattan
  • 1994: Alice Dawn, Albert Coté, Maxime LeForestier, Serge Kerval, Richard Wilbur, Peter Sandler
  • 1996: Dr. Madamou Soumaré, Normand Demers, Jacques Parizeau
  • 1997: Frederick Wiseman, Annie Royer, Patrick Noe, Misha DeFonseca
  • 1999: Nicole Brossard, Helene Dorion, Francine du Plessix Gray
  • 2000: Julia Child
  • 2001: Pierre de Boisdeffre, Stephane Chemlewsky, Frédéric Martel, Lisa Gossels
  • 2002: Anne-Christine Rice, Le Grand Dérangement, Marie-Claire Blais, Senator Paul Simon
  • 2003: Prof. William Carter, Marcel Marceau, Polly Platt, Maia Weschler
  • 2004: Prof. John Rassias, Prof. Adam Braver, Véronique Mistycki, Timothy Mooney
  • 2005: Prof. Emmanuel Dongala, David Plante, Lucie Therrien, Josée Vachon
  • 2006: Prof. Patrick Henry, Richard Hétu
  • 2007: Claudia Hommel, Bob Moreen, Jean-Claude Baker
  • 2008: Sophie Freud, Frédérique Hébrard, Louis Velle
  • 2009: Florence Delay, John De Mado
  • 2010: David Slavitt, Ruth Hartz, Margo Moore
  • 2011: Linda Urbach
  • 2012: Joan Nathan, French Cajun Celebration
  • 2013: Charles Rearick, Sophie Michaux and Artem Belogurov
  • 2014: Kathleen Turner, Guila Clara Kessous, Dr. Jeremiah J. Lowney Jr., Dr. Laura Morelli, Eric Vincent
  • 2015: Jacques Pépin, Sarah Lew Miller, Joyce Lazarus, Mo Willems, Kate Betts, Lucie Therrien and Josée Vachon
  • 2016: Valéry Freland, François Furstenberg, Pierre Thiam, Annie Royer and Les Garçons Musettes
  • 2017:  Alan Hoffman and The Bourbonnais Regiment, Pauline Frommer, William Alexander
  • 2018:  Ciril Hitz