French Books USA: Week in Review

May 21, 2015 | By Kyra Sturgill
Marjane Satrapi will direct the film adaptation of the French best-seller, "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe."

Marjane Satrapi to Adapt French Best-Seller for Film
The studios Brio Films and Vamonos Films announced that Satrapi, the acclaimed author of the graphic novel and director of the film Persepolis will direct the film adaptation of the French best-seller, L’extraordinaire voyage du fakir qui était resté coincé dans une armoire Ikea (French publisher: Le Dilettante), by Romain Puertolas (The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe, published last January in the US by Knopf). The book tells the story of an Indian conman who arrives in Paris with nothing but a 100 euro note and hopes of making it to an Ikea store. But due to a series of unforeseen events, he embarks on a journey through Europe during which he reaches a greater understanding of the universal desire to seek a better life. Filming is set to take place in 2016 with a release date in 2017.

Acclaimed French Graphic Memoir to be Published in US
The publishing house Metropolitan Books will publish the highly-acclaimed French graphic memoir Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1981 by Riad Sattouf. The first book of the three-volume series about growing up under bleak political regimes of Libya and Syria will be published in English in the US this October. The story is told from Sattouf’s perspective as a child, recalling his experiences growing up with a French mother and a Syrian father as his family moved about and lived under menacing and barely functioning political regimes. Metropolitan Books believes that the graphic memoir has the potential to become as popular in the US as it is in France, where it has remained on the best-seller list for months.

An Interview with Jean Echenoz
The New Yorker published an article titled “The Idiosyncratic Fictions of Jean Echenoz,” delving into the French author’s writing, the English translations, and the unique history of the famed publishing house Éditions de Minuit that first published Echenoz. The most recent book of Echenoz to be published in English is The Queen’s Caprice, which was his first collection of short pieces, translated by Linda Coverdale and published by The New Press. Echenoz describes how is writing is informed greatly by his explorations of the physical world around him. He takes long walks through Paris he says. “I walk around and take notes, to conserve a kind of décor. Décor is the motor of fiction.”


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