French Books USA: Week in Review

August 27, 2014 | By FRENCH CULTURE BOOKS

French Novels for Young Audiences in the US
French comics, graphic novels and illustrated books are all very popular in the United States. Nonetheless,  novels aimed at children, adolescents, and young adults are having a hard time making themselves visible on the American market. Only best-selling, award-winning, or famously authored works, or film adaptations, seem to find audiences for youth literature across the Atlantic.

A New Minister
The French Government reshuffle has put Fleur Pellerin in the Minister of Culture’s seat after previously being in charge of digital matters and foreign trade. She will now have to face new challenges involving significant budget cuts with direct ties to important social and cultural programs. 

Medieval Treasures
The BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France, National French Library) calls for donations in order to acquire a royal illuminated manuscript originally destined for Françis I. Les Douze Césars, with its 32 pages of parchment, was designated as a National Treasure by the Ministry of Culture in November 2013.

Francophone literature
Maurice Bandaman, Ivory Coast’s Minister of Culture, wishes to create a Francophone book center to give a significant push to Francophone publishing which would work as an NGO.

Adam Gopnik writes a piece for the New Yorker on the history of pedestrianism, standing up, walking and watching others walk—including references to Frédéric Gros’ theory on the purpose of walking, explored in the best-selling A Philosophy of Walking.

Hopefulness Triumphed
This week, the Paris review discusses Le Rire rouge. In 1914, Le Rire a weekly humoristic journal became Le Rire rouge in reference to the blood spilt during « The Great War ». French artist Lucien Métivet continued to draw for the journal, trying to convey optimistic views and laughter no matter how dark the times were.

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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