French Books USA: Week in Review

March 20, 2015 | By Kyra Sturgill
Brazil is this year's featured country at the Salon du Livre in Paris

2015 Salon du Livre is Underway
The annual Salon du Livre began today in Paris, welcoming authors and editors from over 40 countries, including 48 authors from Brazil, the Salon's featured country this year. Many Polish authors are also present as the cities Krakow and Wroclaw are being highlighted as well. Meanwhile, some authors are opting out of participating in the three-day affair. The Conseil permanent des écrivains published an open letter, signed by over 120 notable authors, calling attention to the diminishing pay rates for authors and growing threats to author rights.

Declaration Sent to European Commission
The ministers of culture from France, Italy, Germany, and Poland together issued a statement urging the European Commission to act quickly in reconsidering the ban on reduced value-added tax for e-books. The statement declared that books play a decisive role in fostering cultural diversity in Europe, and that supporting developments and innovation within the book industry is essential.

Recent Benefits of Publishing Modiano
Independent publisher David R. Godine saw a major boost in sales last October when it was announced that French author Patrick Modiano was winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. DRG has shipped 30,000 copies of the three Modiano titles they publish since the announcement was made.

Overdue English Translation of Jules Verne’s Adventure Classic to be Published
Australian publisher Christmas Press announced that their new imprint, Eagle Books, would publish the first English translation in over a century of Jules Verne’s novel, Mikhail Strogoff as their first title. Verne’s adventure classic set in pre-revolutionary Russia will be translated by Rachel Smee.

Favorite Authors of French Readers
According to a survey conducted by OpinionWay and Le Figaro, when a pool of French readers were asked which contemporary writers they preferred, 25% chose Marc Levy with Jean d’Ormesson and Guillaume Musso following. As for classic authors, Victor Hugo, Marcel Pagnol, and Jules Vernes were most popular, with Emile Zola and Guy de Maupassant not far off in the rankings.


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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