• Events
Sep 20
Moutin Factory Quintet 200 S Front Street East Saint Louis, IL 62201
Sep 25
Education in the 21st Century Cultural Services of the French Embassy 972 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10075
Sep 25
Pierre Moscovici with Adam Tooze Maison Française de Columbia, East Gallery, Buell Hall

French Books Usa: Week In Review

France’s New Cultural Minister 

The newly appointed French Cultural Minister, Françoise Nyssen is a well-known figure in the literature world and CEO of the publishing company Actes Sud. Under her leadership Actes Sud has become one of the premier book publishers in France supporting names such as Mathias Énard, Laurent Gaudé, and Jerome Ferrari, who all received the Prix Goncourt. Nyssen first conducted research in molecular biology but she soon turned to publishing and took over the house founded by her father in 1978. Whereas most of the publishing industry has historically been in Paris, Actes Sud is based in Arles in the south of France, and has focused on showcasing authors from all sides of the Mediterranean Sea, such as Kamel Daoud, who published The Meursault Investigation in 2014 to great acclaim in France and the US. A lover of culture in its fullest meaning, she was nominated president of the support commission for feature films scenarios for the CNC (Centre national du cinéma) and in 2015 she became a member of the High Counsel for Cultural and Artistic Education. She carried out her first duties during the Cannes Film Festival.



Positive Reviews for Guy Delisle’s Thrilling Comic, Hostage

Well-known for his autobiographical comic travelogues Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China, Burma Chronicles, and Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (all published by Drawn and Quarterly), Guy Delisle’s new book, Hostage, breaks from his classic formula, as it is his first work in which he is not a character. The graphic novel concentrates on Christophe André, a Doctors Without Borders administrator who was held captive in Chechnya after being assigned to the Caucasus region in 1997. According to NPR Delisle’s “character design, his use of page and panel layout to underscore the mind-numbing sameness of solitary confinement makes us feel André’s plight so deeply.” The New York Review of Books and The Atlantic observe that Delisle succeeds at bringing readers into the room with the hostage and moreover, into his state of mind. Guy Delisle just ended a  tour that took him to Toronto, New York, Boston, L.A., Seattle and Portland. 


Robert Bresson, a Filmmaker Who Captured the Moment

Robert Bresson was both a filmmaker and a writer who wanted to capture reality in its natural state. Born in 1901, Bresson is recognized as a cinematic genius whose minimalist and seeply spiritual works (Au hazard Balthazar, Mouchette, L’Argent) changed both shape and mind. He was the author of Notes on the Cinematograph (New York Review Books, recently translated from the French by Jonathan Griffin). Progressing through the notes of the filmmaker, the essay conveys his in-depth thought process. It describes how directors and producers can transform cinema and reconsider the ways actors are used to create a form of art that better draws audience. “But why should we be interested in the notes of an obscure director from another country?” asks The Guardian: “Well, Bresson was one of the great directors, and even at a time when most of the best directors in the world were French, he was still remarkable.” The New York Review Books is also releasing a second account, Bresson on Bresson. Translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis, it gathers interviews with the filmmaker that further bring forth his philosophical work process.

Christophe Bataille and Charlotte Rampling:  An Emotional Memoir

Charlotte Rampling’s memoir, Who I Am (Icon Books), written by Christophe Bataille, comes out this month. Rampling made her debut on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar; Fifty years later, she has starred in over one hundred films and television shows. Publishers Weekly noted that the book’s ‘’slenderness is at odds with the weight of its content, which tells, in a series of vignettes and photos, the story of Rampling’s peripatetic childhood and her close relationship with Sarah,’’ her frail older sister who committed suicide. Through this”ballad”, Bataille and Rampling have formed an impressionistic view of Rampling’s life and her successful turnaround overcoming depression and anxiety. 


Graphic Novel Publisher NBM Turns 40!

This May graphic novel publisher NBM turned 40. In the 70s at a time when comic sales were in decline and the market was dominated by superhero comics, then former Syracuse University student, Terry Nantier, decided to take the risk and jump into the comic industry creating NBM publishing. 40 years later, he’s published in the US names like Joann Sfar, Christophe Blain, Boulet, Annie Goetzinger, and Manu Larcenet. More recent titles include Sandrine Revel’s Eisner nominated Glenn Gould: A Life off Tempo, and Cyril Pedrosa’s nominated Equinoxes. NBM publishes graphic novels ranging from classic tales, humor, and erotica all the way to various fiction and non-fiction works. NBM primarily focuses its publishing towards adult readers incorporating a variety of foreign-language works, particularly French. As Nantier said in France he “discovered over there, in the 1970s, the whole world of graphic novels and how that was booming and making comics so incredibly creative, enabling them to gain new audiences- especially adult audiences.”