French Books USA: Week in Review

July 31, 2014 | By FRENCH CULTURE BOOKS

The Future of Science Fiction

After a strong showing in 2013, French comic book artists continue to make waves at this year's Comic Con International. The Will Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of an International Material was given to Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney this year at the convention in San Diego for Goddamn this War! (Fantagraphics, 2014). 

While science-fiction and fantasy are still booming in the US, it may be losing traction in France. French magazine Telerama asks if sci-fi has a future with recent publications moving away from genre fiction. However, now may be the time to shine for small publishing houses such as Le Bélial', L'Atalante, Les Moutons électriques, Le Tripode, and Mnémos who specialize in sci-fi and fantasy.

Project ARROW

The European Arrow Project (Accessible Registries of Rights Information and Orphan Works towards Europeana), built in 2008 in response to online repositories of copyrighted and public domain works like Google Books, is now under evaluation and hopes to ratify its regulation of digital rights in the EU. 

Book Release: Son Altesse Sérénissime

Gérard de Villiers’ sulfurous series S.A.S (Son Altesse Sérénissime) soon to be released by Random House will be published in English translation this summer, beginning with The Madmen of Benghazi, about the atrocities of the Libyan war. Other books from S.A.S. will be published in October, with topics ranging from sexual intrigues and investigations into violent attacks in foreign lands. 

Book Review: Un Roman Sentimental

And on the topic of scandalous topics, Adam Shatz reviews Alain Robbe-Grillet’s last novel Un Roman Sentimental in this month's London Review of Books. According to Shatz, and contrary to what was once said about the book when it first appeared in France, this text “is not an outlier in Robbe-Grillet’s oeuvre, or an "old man’s folly;” but a continuation of the explicit sexual style of “the pope of the nouveau-roman”.  

From Paper to La Peau

Literature is increasingly finding a home on human skin, and no we're not talking about those creepy books discovered on Harvard's dusty shelves, according to Le Nouvel Observateur, more and more people are getting inked with literary quotations or references. Just another part of literatures increasingly nomadic life in the 21st century.


Keep up with the latest news on the French literary scene in France and the U.S. with the French Book Department’s weekly paper trail. For daily updates on events, blogs and translations, follow us on Twitter @FrenchBooksUSA.

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