The 2017 French resident at Randell Cottage is Josef Schovanec, writer, speaker of multiple langugaes, and activist for autistic people who has published four books including  Travels in Autistan and  Je Suis à l’Est !, the first memoir by an autistic person to be released by a major French publisher. His Randell Cottage book project focusses on developing a fictional narrative based on the story of an autistic friend’s journeys and research in the Pacific.

Josef Schovanec was born in 1981 in the greater Paris region to Czech immigrant parents. After completing a degree at Paris Institute of Political Studies, he studied Hebrew, Sanskrit, Persian, Amharic, Azeri, Azerbaijani and Ethiopian at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations, on top of the Czech, German, Finnish and English, which he speaks fluently. His doctoral research, at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, investigated the success Martin Heidegger’s philosophy enjoyed in France.

Read an extract of Josef's work here and here

In conversation with Josef Schovanec

When: March 17, 12-1pm
Where: Salle 206-315 - Arts 1 building, University of Auckland
Cost: free

Meet Josef Schovanec at the Literature Department of the University of Auckland. He will talk about his book  Travels in Autistan and takes us from the great bazaar of Tabriz in Iran to the Transylvanian cemeteries, through the mythical train linking Djibouti to Addis Ababa and the gastronomy of Baluchistan's tribal areas.                                                You do not need to be a student at the University to attend this event.

Petit-déjeuner littéraire

When: March 18, 10.30-11.15pm
Where: Alliance Francaise
Cost: free with petit-déjeuner entry 

Josef Schovanec will be here to talk about his books on autism and read some selections to the audience in French. The reading will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Don't be shy! The intervention is free but occurs during our weekly French petit-déjeuner held from 10am to 12pm. To enjoy coffee and croissants:
$5 general, $4 AFA members and students.

Josef Schovanec on the radio

When: Not defined yet
Where: Radio Amuse-Gueule 104.6
Cost: free

You coudn't make it to the petit-dejeuner to meet Josef Schovanec? New Zealand's French radio station 'Amuse-Gueule' gives you another chance to listen to him. Josef is a seasoned guest on European radio stations such as Europe 1 (France) and La Première (RTBF, Belgium).