French Books USA: Week In Review

January 2, 2015 | By Maggie Love
From the film adaptation of The Little Prince

-Economist and best-selling author Thomas Piketty turned down the Légion d'honneur, stating as his reason, “I do not think it is the government’s role to decide who is honorable.” The Capital in the 21st Century author joins the ranks of Jean-Paul Sartre and George Sand, who also famously refused the distinction.

-Dany Laferrière joins the Académie française this year. He will be the first Haitian, as well as the first Québécois, to be a member of the Academy. He was awarded the Prix Médicis in 2009 for his book L’Enigme du retour. His most recent book is L’Art presque perdu de ne rien faire.

-Michel Houellebecq’s new book, Soumission, is out this Wednesday, and there are already pirated copies floating around on the internet. The pirated version has been scanned, which has led some to believe it was leaked by a journalist or bookseller who received an advance copy.

Given the buzz that is already surrounding Soumission, Literary Critic Pierre Assouline of the popular blog La République des Livres wonders whether this new book of Houellebecq’s will overshadow all others in France’s January rentrée littéraire

-Vincent Monadé, president of France’s Centre national du livre, shared his thoughts on the recent launch of Kindle Unlimited with Livres Hebdo: “Unlimited subscription would signify the end of the publishing process supported by the CNL. I am resolutely hostile toward the idea. ”

-Livres Hebdo picked up our article on the 230+ French titles that will be out this year! You can find that article here, and the original on our site. 

-And in case you haven’t heard, a film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince will be in theaters this fall.

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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