Thursday, June 8, 2023 | 1pm PST | In English
Federation of Alliances Françaises USA
Actress and bestselling author Nelly Alard speaks with Florence Klein about her new novel, The Life You Had Imagined: From Imperial Vienna to Hollywood, the mystery of Empress Elisabeth of Austria’s secret daughter.
The Life You Had Imaginedis the autobiographical account of a life-long search of truth about Empress Elisabeth of Austria’s hidden child. At once a singular coming-of-age novel and a gripping historical mystery book, by award-winning French author Nelly Alard.
Ever since childhood, Nelly Alard has had two passions: Empress Elisabeth of Austria -the legendary Sisi- and Hollywood movie stars. When she discovers the story of Elissa Landi, a 1930s film star whose mother, Countess Karoline Zanardi Lands, claimed to be the empress’s secret child, born during a hunting trip in France in 1882, Alard decides she needs to know more. After years of thorough research, she manages to find Elissa Landi’s daughter, who tells her she believes her grandmother’s tale and hands Alard the keys to a behemoth of a family archive, within which lies -or so Aland hopes, along with the reader- the definitive proof that Karoline was telling the truth.
Before becoming a writer, Nelly Alard was trained as an actress. She has acted in France in numerous plays and TV movies, and in two American films by Henry Jaglom, Eating and Venice/Venice. Her first novel, Le crieur de nuit, published in 2010 by Gallimard, was awarded the Roger Nimier Prize and the Lions National Prize of Literature. It was followed in 2013 by Moment d’un Couple, which won the prestigious Interallié Prize and became a bestseller, translated into several languages. Alard, who lives in Paris, is also a screenwriter and works regularly for French television.
Florence Klein is co-Founder, CEO and host of Startup Vision TV.
For a great representation of Sisi, brilliantly played by Vicky Krieps, watch the 2022 film Corsage.
This event will be in English and is on Zoom and free for all Alliance Française members, AATF members, and invited guests of the presenter or publicist. Non-members or persons who have no AF chapter nearby can purchase tickets ($10).