French Books USA: Week in Review

July 9, 2015 | By Arian Murati
Antoine Volodine

Man Booker Prize Now Open to Translators

Beginning in 2016, the prestigious Man Booker Prize, which recognizes English-language novels in Britain, will be reorganized to award a single book translated into English and published in the United Kingdom. The £52,000 reward between the author and English-language translator will be divided evenly, in hopes of “(...) foster[ing] a new understanding of the work translators do, and the skill involved.” The new award is a merge between the traditional Man Booker Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.  Recent international winners include László Krasznahorkai and Philip Roth, while Francophone writers Michel Tournier, Marie NDiaye, and Maryse Condé have all been previously nominated. 

French Voices Award Winners in Search of Publishers

As part of our own initiative to recognize authors and translators of French literature into English, the French Voices Award was created to find U.S. publishers for French books of all styles and genres, from fiction and children’s books, to graphic novels and poetry. With nearly 200 books already published in translation in 2015, some previous FVA winners are still trying to find American publishers. Likewise, the deadline for submissions for the 2015 French Voices Award is quickly approaching. 

Roland Barthes Centennial Celebrations Continue

The Bibliothèque nationale de France continues its celebration of all things Barthes during his centennial year. Among the expositions and displays at the BnF until late July are dozens of manuscripts, correspondences, and lecture notes offering a glimpse into the public and private thoughts of one of France’s most influential academics. On this side of the Atlantic, the Institut français invites Internet users to contribute to an expansive mosaic with images and photos relating to Barthes’ writings. 

The Digital, Physical Bookshop

A new browser extension allows and FNAC website users to cross-reference book prices and availabilities with nearby geo-tagged brick-and-mortar bookshops. The development team behind the "même en mieux" extension proposes an alternative to the ubiquitous online booksellers by using their own extensive catalogs to help users search digitally for “(...) portals to the physical bookstore.” Already partnered with Place des libraires, the cheeky extension may help users circumvent shipping costs by showing them the way to the same books at local stores. No word yet on an American counterpart. 

Antoine Volodine Interview in The Paris Review

The enigmatic, until-now "unclassifiable” Antoine Volodine talks Tarkovsky, shamans, death, insanity, dreams, and defends his use of “post-exoticism” in a wildly engaging interview with J.T. Mahany and Jeffrey Zukerman. In classic Volodine style, one can never be sure if he is often referencing himself or a heteronym. 

French Cartoonists Win Society of Illustrator Awards

Among the winners of the Society of Illustrator's first Comic and Cartoon Art Annual are French artists Philippe Squarzoni (for long form) and Maëlle Doliveux, whose comic strip Little Nemo in Between Slumberland was awarded the gold medal. Both entries will be displayed in an exhibition featuring over fifty artists from around the world at the Museum of American Illustration from July 7th to the 25th.


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