French Books USA: Week in Review
Modiano in Tin House
Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano's story "Page-A-Day" is included in the Summer Reading edition of Tin House magazine. The short piece, wonderfully translated by Edward Gauvin, serves as an "ideal introduction," with Modiano's hallmark themes of Paris, memory, loss, and time balanced by introspective prose.
Double Dose of French Literature in The Paris Review
In line with Bastille Day celebrations, The Paris Review blog republished their required revolutionary reading, along with a new post examining the life and writing of the notoriously sordid Léon Bloy. Recently reissued, Bloy's aptly-titled Disagreeable Tales offer a bleak, sharp-tongued critique of Parisian life at the end of the 19th century, or, as writer Erik Morse remarks, "Perhaps his most explicit selection of harangues and exhortations."
Ideas Box Comes to NYC
As we mentioned in an earlier article, the Ideas Box is gaining traction in unexpected locations. Originally designed for displaced peoples and refugees in volatile regions, the mobile multimedia center has found great use and acclaim in underserved areas of Paris, and now, New York City. Through a partnership with local nonprofits, Libraries Without Borders (LWB) has set up an Ideas Box in the South Bronx in Hayden Lord Park. Launched on July 15th and continuing through September 5th, the installation will include community programs centered around education and creative expression.
Following Delcourt-Soleil's San Diego Comic Con announcement of Comixology, Mediatoon Licencing have announced the launch of Europe Comics, a "digital venue hosting European comics and graphic novels," expected to be fully operational by the fall of 2015. The news follows a surge in international comics and graphic novels in the American market, with several French titles leading the way.
Essay on Barthes in Los Angeles Review of Books
Youna Kwak's essay "You" is featured this week in The Offing, a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books. In the poetic essay, Kwak expores Barthes' imagined addressee in his later works written in the first person. "[Barthes'] autobiographical 'I'... make[s] the reader uncomfortable for its sudden intimacy, [and] I wonder, whom exactly is he addressing?"
Pierre Lemaitre's Latest in Publishers Weekly
Winner of the Prix Goncourt, The Great Swindle earned a favorable review by Publishers Weekly. Lemaitre's novel, translated by Frank Wynne, explores the maddening state of affairs that follow the 1918 armistice and the volatile, get-rich-quick schemes that leave former soldiers in desolate conditions. "(...) [An] assured, somber exploration of post-WWI French society… Lemaitre captures the venal capitalism of the postwar period…" Lemaitre will be at the Brooklyn Book festival September 19th and our very own Albertine Books September 21st alongside American writer Phil Klay.
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