Mark Lee | Mount Allison

Mark Lee

Professor - French
Crabtree 324


While still a student Mark Lee worked in a lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic where he found time to discover the joy of reading French literature. Now as professor at Mount Allison he teaches French language, literature and film, specializing in writers and filmmakers from the 1940s to the present. Especially interested in the art of writing, Dr. Lee has had the privilege to meet several of the authors he has studied. His PhD and first publications were on Nathalie Sarraute, Jean-Paul Sartre and the relationship between poetics and ethics, while his more recent research centres on questions of identity, erasure, the aesthetics of numbness and repetition in contemporary writers, notably Amélie Nothomb.

Dr. Lee was responsible for Mount Allison’s study abroad program at the Université de Strasbourg and initiated our participation in the Assistant d’anglais program where new graduates teach English for a year in France. He has directed numerous undergraduate honours theses at Mt. A, and served on MA and PhD thesis committees in France and Canada. He also reviews new fiction and critical works for a number of scholarly publications. Most recently, he co-organized an international conference in Paris on Nothomb with the University of Kent and Columbia University.  His closing interview with Nothomb is viewable here:


Dr. Lee has published widely on the works of Nathalie Sarraute and Amélie Nothomb, as well as a number of other contemporary writers/filmmakers.  He is a regular reviewer of new fiction for The French Review.

Books :

Mark D. Lee et Ana de Medeiros (dir.),   Identité, mémoire, lieux. Le passé, le présent et l'avenir d'Amélie Nothomb , Paris, Classiques Garnier, coll. « Rencontres », n° 353, série « Littérature des XX e  et XXI e  siècles » n° 33, 2018. ISBN 978-2-406-07168-6, 34 €.  Argument: Cette collection d'études accompagnée d'un entretien met au jour la richesse et la complexité d'une œuvre populaire en l'abordant selon les axes de la mémoire, du lieu et de l'identité. Un ouvrage important pour situer et comprendre Amélie Nothomb dans l'extrême contemporain.

Les Identités d’Amélie Nothomb : de l’invention médiatique aux fantasmes originaires. (Amsterdam/ New York: Rodopi, 2010). 295pp

Articles and Book Chapters :

“Crossing Boundaries External & Internal: The Writing Imaginary of Shumona Sinha”. Crossways, v.2, n.1 (2019)

"Erasure and Re-inscription: Representing Trauma in Amélie Nothomb".   Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies , v.5, n.2 (2016): 75-86. (published in July 2018)"

Séduction, transgression, reproduction: Amélie Nothomb et l'épistolaire" in Risques et Regrets: Les dangers de l'écriture épistolaire . Eds G. De Vivieros, M. Irvine, K. Schwerdtner. (Montréal, Nota Bene, 2015), 99-122.

"Re-viewing Varda's Le Bonheur  (1964): Accident? Suicide? Or the Natural Order? That is the question". Book chapter to be published in Agnès Varda Unlimited: Image, Music, Media . Ed. Marie-Claire Barnet. (Oxford, Legenda, 2016), 87-95.

"D'Hiroshima à Shibuya : Nothomb, Duras et les topiques de la fiction". In  Le passé, le présent et le futur d'Amélie Nothomb . Eds. Mark Lee & Ana de Medeiros. Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2018. Pp. 25-34.

'Introduction'. In  Le passé, le présent et le futur d'Amélie Nothomb . Eds. Mark Lee & Ana de Medeiros. Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2018. Pp. 7-11.

“Amélie Nothomb est un homme dangereux” in This ‘Self’ Which Is Not One: Women’s Life Writing in French. Eds Natalie Edwards, Christopher Hogarth. (Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010), 119-135.

“L’Étranger chez Amélie Nothomb” in Francographies: Identité et altérité dans les espaces francophones européens. Eds Susan Bainbrigge, Caroline Verdier, Joy Charnley (New York: Peter Lang, 2010), 193-203.

“Ernaux, Breton, Nadja: Dis-moi qui tu hantes... ” in Annie Ernaux: Perspectives critiques. Sergio Villani, dir. (Toronto: Legas Publications, 2009), 159-166.

“Les Langues de Nathalie Sarraute”. Roman 20-50 (Winter, 2005): 91-111.

“Amélie Nothomb:  Writing Childhood’s End,” in Amélie Nothomb: Authorship, Identity and Narrative Practice. (New York: Peter Lang, 2003), 142-153.

“Learning to Let Go: Kieslowski’s Trois couleurs: Bleu”. The French Review 76.1 (October, 2002): 90-97.      
“The Last Word: Deathbed Scenes in the Works of Nathalie Sarraute”. L’Esprit créateur  XL,1 (Spring 2000): 47-57.

“L’Écriture et la vie: Nathalie Sarraute”. Dalhousie French Studies 47 (Summer 1999): 143-154.

 "Sarraute et la peinture: Judging a Book by its Cover". The French Review 71.4    (March, 1998): 585-597.

"Tropismes: le  réel comme  rythme de l'histoire".  Études littéraires 29.1 (Été, 1996): 11-20.

"Tu ne t'aimes pas: Les voies de l'amour". Thirty Voices in the Feminine.  (Atlanta: Éditions Rodopi, 1996): 42-49.

"Nathalie Sarraute: Aesthetics and Asthenics". Women in French Studies (Fall, 1994): 102-110.

Publications: Review Essay:

“Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Women’s Writing: From Disgust to Experiment and Experience”, in Contemporary Women’s Writing 10.1 (March, 2016): 136-140. doi: 10.1093/cww/vpv018.  A peer-reviewed essay on Katie Jones, Representing Repulsion: The Aesthetics of Disgust in Contemporary Women’s Writing in French and German. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013, and Gill Rye and Amaleena Damlé, Experiment and Experience Women’s Writing in France 2000–2010. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013

Publications: Literary Interviews:

“Entretien avec Amélie Nothomb”. The French Review 77.3 (February, 2004): 562-575.

'D'hier à aujourd'hui. Entretien avec Amélie Nothomb'. In  Le passé, le présent et le futur d'Amélie Nothomb . Eds. Mark Lee & Ana de Medeiros. Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2018. Pp. 233-250.

Publications: Critical Reviews:

Premier sang, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. Forthcoming in The French Review.

Même les anges, a novel by Christèle Wurmser. Forthcoming in The French Review.

L’ami, a novel by Tiffany Tavernier. Forthcoming in The French Review.

Le Testament russe, a novel by Shumona Sinha. The French Review. 94.4 (May 2021): 244.

Soif, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 94. 2 (October 2020): 263-264.

La nuit ne dure pas, a novel by Jules Gassot. The French Review. 93. 4 (May 2020): 243-244.

Une année lumière, a collection of essays by Nathacha Appanah. The French Review. 93, 2 (December 2019): 210-211.
L’Intertextualité dans l’écriture de Nathalie Sarraute, a critical work by Rainier Rocchi. Modern Language Review, v114. 3 (July 2019): 571-572.

Le livre d’Amray, a novel by Yahia Belaskri. The French Review. 92, 4 (May 2019): 229-230.

Les visages pales, a novel by Solonge Bied-Charreton. The  French Review. 92, 1  (October 2018): 201.

Frappe-toi le coeur , a novel by Amélie Nothomb.  The French Review. 91.4 (May 2018): 217.

Apatride , a novel by Shumona Sinha.  The French Review. 91.3 (March 2018): 253.

Chanson douce , a novel by Leïla Slimani.  The French Review. 91.2 (December 2017): 265-266.

L'Astronome dur à cuire , a novel by Jonathan Ruel.  The French Review. 91.1 (October 2017): 276.

Riquet à la houppe , a novel by Amélie Nothomb.  The French Review. 90.4 (May 2017): 282.

Vie et œuvre de Constantin Erod , a novel by Julien Donadille.  The French Review. 90.3 (March 2017): 203-204.

Nouvel an chinois , a novel by Koffi Kwahulé.  The French Review. 89, 4 (May 2016): 261-262

La route de Beit Zera, a novel by Hubert Mingarelli. The French Review. 89, 3 (March 2016): 274-275 

Pétronille, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 89,2 (December 2015): 278-279.

Calcutta, a novel by Shumona Sinha. The French Review. 89,1 (October 2015): 209-210.

Regarde les lumières mon amour, a work by Annie Ernaux. The French Review. 88,4 (May 2015): 220.

Le Désamour, a novel by Antonia Kerr. The French Review. 88,2 (December 2014): 267-268. 

Le roman de Boddah, a novel by Héloïse Guay de Bellissen. The French Review. 88,1 (October 2014): 267-268.
La nostalgie heureuse, a novel by Amélie Nothomb.The French Review. 87, 4 (May 2014): 264-265.
La première chose qu’on regarde, a novel by Grégoire DelacourtThe French Review. 87,3 (March 2014): 200.

Je vais mieux, a novel by David Foenkinos. The French Review. 87,2. (December 2013): 272-273.

Subjects Not-at-home:Forms of the Uncanny in the Contemporary French Novel, A critical study by Daisy Connon. Dalhousie French Studies. v.99 (Summer 2012):128-129.

L’Herbe des nuits, a novel by Patrick Modiano. The French Review 87,1 (October 2013): 275.
Barbe bleue and Les Myrtilles, two works by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 86, 5 (May 2013): 1295-1296.

L’Art français de la guerre, a novel by Alexis Jenni. The French Review. 86,4 (March 2013): 790-791

Des vies d’oiseaux, a novel by Véronique Olvadé. The French Review. 86,3 (February 2013): 610-611.

Tuer le père, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 86,2 (November 2012): 425-426.

L’Autre fille, a work by Annie Ernaux. The French Review. 86,1 (October 2012):  218.

Le Sel, a novel by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo. The French Review. 85 5 (April 2012):983-984.

Des fleurs pour Zoë, a novel by Antonia Kerr.  The French Review. 85, 4 (March 2012): 788-789.

Crime d’amour, a film by Alain Corneau. The French Review. 85, 2 (December 2011):  371-372.

Une Forme de vie,a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 85, 2 (December 2011):  404.

L’Arnacoeur, a film by Pascal Chaumeil. The French Review. 84, 6 (May 2011):1302-1303.

Le Premier amour, a novel by Véronique Olmi. The French Review. 84, 6 (May 2011):  1339-1340.

Un Roman français,a novel by Frédéric Beigbeder. The French Review. 84, 4 (March, 2011): 846-847.

Le Voyage d'hiver, a novel by Amélie Nothomb.  The French Review. 84, 3 (February, 2011): 619-620.

La Fiancée juive, a novel by Jean Rouaud. The French Review. 83,3 (February,2010): 682-683.

Le Fait du prince, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review 83, 2 (December, 2009): 450-451.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a critical work by Elizabeth Ezra. The French Review. 82, 4 (March, 2009): 894-895.

La Chaussure sur le toit, a novel by Vincent Delecroix. The French Review. 82, 4 (March, 2009): 863-864.

Ni d’Ève ni d’Adam, a novel by Amélie Nothomb.  The French Review. 82, 3 February, 2009): 671-672.

Journal d’Hirondelle, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 81, 6 (May, 2008): 1309-10.

C.R.A.Z.Y., a film by Jean-Marc Vallée.  The French Review. 81, 1 (October, 2007): 210-211.

Rois et Reine, a film by Arnaud Desplechin. The French Review. 80, 5 (April, 2007): 1135-1136.

L’Usage de la photo, a work by Annie Ernaux and Marc Marie. The French Review. 80, 5 (April, 2007): 1157-1158

Acide sulfurique, a novel by Amélie Nothomb .The French Review. 80, 3 (February, 2007): 730-731.

Un Pedigree, a work by Patrick Modiano. The French Review. 80, 2 (December, 2006): 494-495.

5 x 2, a film by François Ozon. The French Review. 79, 4 (March, 2006): 847.

Biographie de la faim and L’Entrée du Christ à Bruxelles, two works by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 79, 3 (February, 2006): 669-671.

Amélie Nothomb: L’Éternelle affamée, a critical work by Laureline Amanieux.  Dalhousie French Studies. 73 (Winter, 2005): 164-165.

Swimming Pool, a film by François Ozon. The French Review. 78, 3 (February, 2005): 593-594.

Paths to Contemporary French Literature, a critical work by John Taylor. Symposium. 58.4 (Winter 2005): 271-272.

Soudain le Minotaure, a novel by Marie-Hélène Poitras. The French Review. 78, 2 (December, 2004): 410.

Être et avoir, a film by Nicholas Philibert. The French Review. 78,1 (October, 2004): 174-175.

Antéchrista, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 78,1 (October, 2004): 200-201.

À ce soir, a work by Laure Adler. The French Review. 77, 6 (May, 2004): 1272-1273.

Robert des noms propres, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 77, 5. (April, 2004): 1013-1014.

L’Occupation, a work by Annie Ernaux. The French Review. 77, 4 (March 2004):  817-818.

8 femmes, a film by François Ozon. The French Review. 77, 3 (February, 2004): 602-603.

Le Fond de l’air est rouge, a film by Chris Marker. The French Review. 76, 6 (December, 2003): 392-393.

Loin, a film by André Téchiné: The French Review. 76, 6 (May, 2003): 1285-86. 

Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulin, a film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The French Review. 76, 5 (April, 2003): 1061-1062.
Cosmétique de l’ennemi, a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 76, 1 (October, 2002): 156-157.

La Vie rêvée des anges, a film by by Erick Zonca. The French Review. 75, 6 (May, 2002): 1332-1333.

Métaphysique des tubes a novel by Amélie Nothomb. The French Review. 75, 5 (April, 2002): 1006-1007.

Bleu: Histoire d’une couleur, a critical work by Michel Pastoureau. Dalhousie French Studies. 57 (Winter 2002): 151.

Nathalie Sarraute, Fiction and Theory, Questions of Difference: a critical work by Ann Jefferson.  Dalhousie French Studies. 55 (Summer 2001): 197-198.

L’Événement et La Vie extérieure, two autobiographical works Annie Ernaux. The French Review. 74, 6 (May 2001): 1276-1278.

Journal d’un coeur sec, a novel by Mathieu Terence. The French Review. 74, 5 (April, 2001):1056-1057.

Chacun cherche son chat, a film by Cédric Klapisch. The French Review. 74, 3 (February 2001): 617-618.

New Novel, New Wave, New Politics: Fiction and the Representation of History in Postwar France, a critical work by Lynn Higgins.  Dalhousie French Studies. 51 (Summer 2000): 205-206.


Ph.D. in French Literature, Emory University

Research semesters at EHESS, ENS, Jussieu, Paris.

M.A. in French Literature, Johns Hopkins University

B.A. (Hon) in French, Memorial University of Newfoundland


Areas of expertise are XXth and XXIst century French Literature. Dr. Lee also teaches French film and French language.

Courses for 2021-2022: French 1701, 1711, 2501, 3621, 4001.


New French fiction, Women writers, Notions of haunting, Writing the sublime, Constructions or Dissolution of Identity and the Epistolary.

With the University of Kent (UK) and Columbia University in Paris, Dr. Lee organized the international  conference “Identity, Memory, Place: Amélie Nothomb: Past, Present and Future” at Reid Hall, Paris (May 2014).

Grants, awards & honours

J.E.A. Crake Teaching Award in the Faculty of Arts
Paul Paré Excellence Award
Clement and Florence Avard Chair in French.