In a Paper City write nothing down. So commands this text, which dismantles itself as it charts its own admonished course, navigating the interstices between English and French, the author's two mother tongues. Through the disquieting absence of the characters n and b, and the narrator's attempt to uncover and record their lives, Stephens confronts and challenges human proscription through the untranslatibility of experience, with ironic and apocalyptic consequences. Beneath this thin narrative runs an undercurrent of horror that decries the deliberate plunder of the City resulting from an absolute disregard for history's relationship to the body's fictions – what n and b term 'art lost to numbers.'
Nathalie Stephens writes l’entre-genre in English and French. Her most recent works include L’Injure, Paper City and Je NathanaÃ«l, which was also released in English self-translation (BookThug, 2006). L’Injure was a finalist for the 2005 Prix Alain-Grandbois and le Prix Trillium; the fiction Underground was a finalist in 2000 for the Grand Prix du Salon du livre de Toronto. Stephens is the recipient ofa 2002 Chalmers Arts Fellowship. She currently teaches in the MFAW program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.