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Summer Reads: Non-fiction

Dear readers,

What should you be reading this summer? No matter where you’re vacationing, and relaxing, or commuting this summer it is always nice to have a book in your hand. We have a list for French literature lovers looking for something new during these warm months ranging from comics all the way to erudite novels and essays. To keep up to date with the summer list and to support your favorite books follow @FrenchBooksUSA and #frenchsummerreads


Non-Fiction Books

1. Enzo Traverso, Fire and Blood: The European Civil War 1914-1945, Verso Books 2017, translated by David Fernbach (A feu et à sang : De la guerre civile européenne 1914-1945, Fayard 2007)
An account of the European crisis of the two world wars as a single historical sequence. Rejecting commonplace notions of “totalitarian evil,” Enzo Traverso depicts the dialectic of an era of wars, revolutions and genocides. and reinterprets the ideas of an age of intellectual and political commitment when Europe shaped world history with its own collapse. 


2. Maryse Condé, What is Africa To Me, Seagull Books 2017, Translated by Richard Philcox (Desirada, Éditions Laffont 1997)
Maryse Condé chronicles her life from Sekou Toure’s Guinea to her time in Kwame N’Krumah’s Ghana, where she rubbed shoulders with Malcom X, Che Guevara, Julius Nyerere, and Maya Angelou. Follow the author extraordinary journey as accusations of subversive activity resulted in her deportation from Ghana, until Dakar Senegal and before she put down more permanent roots in Paris. 


3. Robert Bresson, Bresson on Bresson, New York Review Books 2017, translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis, with a preface by Pascale Mérigeau (Notes sur le cinématographe, Gallimard 1975)
A collection of the most significant interviews that Bresson gave over the course of his forty-year career revealing the exploratory character of the great filmmaker’s body of work. The book looks at his fourteen films, the question of literary adaptation, the nature of the sound track, and Bresson’s great aphoristic treatise Notes on the Cinematograph. 


4. Nadia Marzouki, Islam: An American Religion (Religion, Culture, and Public Life), Columbia University Press 2017, translated by C. Jon Delogu
(L'Islam, une religion américaine?, Seuil 2013) 

An essay on how Islam became an American religion through strategies of recognition adopted by Muslims and through the performance of Islam as a faith. Marzouki investigates how it became contentious in American politics, from uproar over the construction of mosques, and legal disputes around the prohibition of Islamic law, to the overseas promotion of religious freedom. Marzouki will be at Albertine on September 12 to discuss her work. 


5. Peter Szendy, All Ears: The Aesthetics of Espionage, translated by Roland Vegso, Fordham University Press 2016,  (Écoute. Une histoire de nos oreilles, Éditions Minuit 2001)
International politics have recently been rocked by a seemingly endless series of scandals involving auditory surveillance. All Ears traces the long history of moles from the Bible, through Jeremy Bentham's "panacoustic" project, all the way to the intelligence-gathering network "Echelon." It also offers an engaging account of spy-craft's representations in literature. 


Fiction Summer reads
Graphic Novels Summer reads
Kids Summer reads