French Books USA: Week In Review

December 4, 2014 | By Maggie Love
Albert Camus,1953 STF / AFP

Ancient Shakespeare Text Found in France
A copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio (published in 1623) was found in Saint-Omer, France. It’s believed to have gone unnoticed in the library’s already impressive rare book collection in part because it's missing 30 pages, including the title page.

Letter from Camus to Sartre Discovered
In other historical findings news, a newly discovered letter Albert Camus wrote to Jean-Paul Sartre reveals the high regard the luminaries held for one another. Based on the contents of the letter, experts believe it was written in 1951, about six months before Sartre rejected Camus’ The Rebel. After the resulting disagreement effectively ended the intellectuals’ friendship, Sartre destroyed the majority of their letters.

France Takes Steps to Protect Literary Culture
As Daniel Mendelsohn writes in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, the French government's declaration of books as an “essential good” and the accompanying bans on deep discounting and free shipping are largely to thank for the preservation of the country's strong tradition of literary appreciation. It may not come as a surprise, then, that books beat out cash for the most desired holiday gift in France, according to a recent Deloitte study.

Guadalajara Book Fair Publishing Award Announced
Anne-Marie Métailié was awarded the Guadalajara Book Fair’s (FIL) publishing merit award. Métailié founded Editions Métailié, a French-language publishing house with a focus on Latin American Literature, in 1979. In her acceptance speech, she noted that "publishing requires bulletproof stubbornness."

Tonight at Albertine
Don’t miss author Julia Deck tonight at Albertine, in conversation with translator Linda Coverdale. In the meantime, check out Publishers Weekly’s review of Deck’s debut novel, Viviane, a story that “burrows deftly and unrelentingly into a troubled mind.” Deck will also be reading at the New Literature in Europe Festival, a Time Out New York Critics' Pick, tonight at 8 p.m.
 

Recommended Reading
In the current issue of Tin House, Marcia DeSanctis writes about Edith Wharton's A Motor-Flight Through France: "Simply stated, this book that helped define the travel-writing genre during one of its golden ages now defies it. Today, it is refreshing and unusual to read a memoir that is about buildings and sky rather than love and loss."

“The view from the footbridge now . . . offers a tight knot of paradoxes about the history of Paris, the tempering of glass, and the shackles of love.” In the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik writes about L.V.M.H.’s plans to renovate the iconic Samaritaine and two women's shared fight against the love locks on the Pont des Arts.


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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