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Talks & Ideas

Online Talk with Harriet Welty Rochefort

Wednesday 7 April 2021 18:00-19:00

Join the AF Glasgow to meet French-American author & journalist Harriet Welty Rochefort for a presentation of her first novel Final Transgression, inspired by the true story of Séverine Sevanot during the Vichy regime.

Meet Harriet Welty Rochefort
Wednesday 7 April, 6:00 pm
Free and open to all
Online on Zoom


About the author:

Harriet Welty Rochefort grew up in Iowa, traveled to France after graduating from college, and never left. She is a writer, a freelance journalist and a former professor at Sciences Po Paris, who regularly lectured on the cultural differences between French and American. She is the author of three nonfiction books about the French: French Toast, French Fried and Joie de Vivre, all published by St. Martin’s Press. Final Transgression is her first work of fiction.


Two sisters, two lives. In Final Transgression, 85-year-old Caroline Aubry tells the tale of the tragic wartime destiny of her beloved younger sister, Severine. From their humble beginnings in a hamlet in the southwest of France to a castle where Severine becomes the protegée of the beautiful countess who employs their parents, their trajectories differ. After the family moves to Paris, the pragmatic Caroline becomes a successful designer and the high-spirited Severine marries a rich jeweler. When WW2 breaks out and her collaborationist husband betrays her, the headstrong Severine flees to the castle and the countess- in spite of warnings about the risks of traveling to an area that is a fierce battleground for rival of resisters, Nazis and collaborators. Severine is beautiful and intelligent but obstinate and unaware, two traits that in wartime will ultimately seal her fate.

The end of the war in France was a time for settling scores. Severine, an ordinary woman living in extraordinary times, unwittingly hands the hangman’s noose to her enemies in one egregious act – her final transgression.

Institut Français Écosse 2022