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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

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


A French radio adaptation of Brothers in Exile last aired on Radio France Culture on February 6, 2022.


8 June 2023, 7pm

British Council Paris

Talk : A Career in Creative Writing

3 June 2023, 4pm

Bill and Rosa's Book Room

Book presentation, Boulogne

31 May 2023, 7pm

Columbia Global Centers Paris

Discussion with Robert G. O'Meally

16 May 2023, 6:30pm

Waterstones Islington

Book Launch UK

12 - 14 May 2023

CrimeFest Bristol

Crime Fiction Convention, UK

3 May 2023, 7:30pm

American Library in Paris

Conversation with Marcus Bruce

24 April 2023, 7pm

The Red Wheelbarrow

Book Launch Paris

22 - 25 September 2022

Festival America

Vincennes, Paris

4 - 6 June 2022

Étonnants Voyageurs

International Book Festival

Saint-Malo, France

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

In bookstores now!

Viper's Dream published by No Exit Press

"Laced with a stiff shot of politics, romance and jazz, Viper's Dream is moody, poetic and immersing."

      Deborah Levy

"A pure, true Jazz Noir Classic."

      David Peace

“Fun, fast-moving and full of unforgettable characters."

     Mateo Askaripour, New York TImes bestselling author of Black Buck

"Dark poetics, magical prose and meticulous storytelling - Viper's Dream is way more than a crime novel. It is an intriguing seduction.

A revelation."

     Stephen Mack Jones, author of the August Snow series

"Hardboiled, but also achingly tender, this is a tour-de-force of jazz noir."

     Mike Ripley, Shots Crime & Thriller Ezine

"Lamar’s narrative is simultaneously restrained and utterly exuberant. A jazz-infused crime odyssey."

      Vaseem Khan, Author of the Baby Ganesh Agency series

"The excellent Lamar has produced a wonderfully vivid portrait of Harlem in its heyday."

      John Williams, Mail on Sunday

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