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The Unknown Girl Avalon Theater 5612 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20015
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French Fiction Fridays #1

We are excited to present French Fiction Fridays, a summer series highlighting works of contemporary French fiction not yet translated into English.

Each Friday we will choose two titles with excerpts presented in the original French alongside an English translation. This week we are pleased to introduce two new titles. The first, a classic Paris crime novel, transports the reader to the heart of one of the world’s most fantastical, fantasized cities: And if, at Notre-Dame, by night... by Catherine Bessonart. The second, presents a quest in the form of an investigation, set against the backdrop of France’s ‘phony war’ in Africa during the 1940s by Bernard Bonnelle.

We hope that French Fiction Fridays will not only offer a glimpse into the world of contemporary French fiction, but also provide a fun way for students of French to practice their language skills and boost their vocabulary over the holidays!


And if, at Notre-Dame, by night...by Catherine Bessonart

Women. Statues. A child’s doll. All found decapitated. Leading the investigation, Commissaire Bompard senses a connection. Between the decapitations, and his own story. Loud and clear, his cop’s instinct tells him not to trust to appearances, but to follow his own intuition. A spell-binding first novel. Read an except


At the Belles Abyssinesby Bernard Bonnelle

A quest in the form of an investigation, set against the backdrop of France’s “phoney war” in Africa during the 1940s. Striking characters, crushed by the weight of their destiny or galvanized by a spirit of rebellion. An exciting and fascinating read. Read an excerpt


Excerpt compiled and translated in cooperation with the Institut français, the foreign rights departments of the French publishing houses and the book offices in London, New York and Berlin.

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