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Week in Review: July 6, 2018

by Shannon Sullivan

Authors Love French Books

But what else is new? Lit Hub compiled a list of famous authors’ most recommended books, and-- quelle surprise! -- French authors took the cake, claiming the top two spots. In second place with seven mentions was Marcel Proust’s masterful In Search of Lost Time; coming in first with nine mentions was Gustave Flaubert’s iconic Madame Bovary. The list was put together from recommendations from authors both classic and contemporary, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bret Easton Ellis, Claire Messud, Joan Didion, and Ernest Hemingway. What are your French lit favorites? Let us know! If you’re in need of some suggestions, check out our summer reading recommendations.

It’s All French to Me

Blog Le mot juste en anglais translated 2018 Albertine Prize-winning translator Emma Ramadan’s interview with BookWitty. The interview, led by journalist and editor Olivia Snaije, covers Ramadan’s different experiences in translating two of author (and co-Albertine Prize-winner) Anne Garréta’s books, how Garréta’s literature fits into the world of contemporary French literature, and her process of translation. Ramadan also commented on working with Garréta at a Q & A following the Albertine Prize ceremony this year.

Tallent Receives Prix America 2018

Gabriel Tallent’s critically acclaimed My Absolute Darling (Penguin in the US, Gallmeister in France) was named America magazine’s Best Book of 2018. Translated into French by Laura Derajinski, My Absolute Darling follows fourteen-year-old Turtle who, having grown up with an abusive father, seeks refuge in solitude until she befriends classmate Jacob. Winner of the 2018 Grand prix de l’héroïne from Madame Figaro, the book marks Tallent’s literary debut. The prize, which was inaugurated last year, is awarded to an author whose work is judged to be unmissable to “understand, discover, and dream of America.”  

Congratulations, Words without Borders!

Words without Borders was one of three recipients of the inaugural Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes, presented by the Whiting Foundation. The Prizes seek to acknowledge, reward, and encourage organizations that edit and publish extraordinary writing, support talented writers, and advance the literary community; Words without Borders won for the digital category. Founded in 2003, WWB is a free digital magazine that gives unparalleled access to contemporary international writers. In their fifteen years, they have published work from writers from 134 countries, including translations from 114 languages, in addition to reviews on new English translations; they recently published a review of Gaël Faye’s Small Country (Hogarth), translated into English by Sarah Ardizzone, and Edward Gauvin’s translation of Lamia Ziadé’s Fairuz in My Grandfather’s Shop. Congratulations!

The Father of Gaia

The Los Angeles Review of Books published an essay, translated into English by Stephen Muecke, by philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour that recounts his experience meeting Gaia hypothesis conceptualizer James Lovelock. Misunderstood from its debut in the scientific community, the Gaia hypothesis, conceived in 1965, holds that “Earth is a totality of living beings and materials that were made together, that cannot live apart, and from which humans can’t extract themselves.” In the article, Latour touches on the multiplicity of the Gaia’s versions and attempts to clarify what it implies: “that the stable state of our planet includes man as a part of, or partner in, a very democratic entity.” His Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime (Polity), translated into English by Catherine Porter, came out last year, following its 2015 publication in France.

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