French Books USA: Week in Review

September 8, 2015 | By Arian Murati
The Evergreen Review cover featuring Jean-Paul Sartre and Antonin Artaud

Access

Following a German initiative to bring books to refugee children, Frédéric Lavabre of publishing house Sarbacane has urged French children's book publishers to follow suit and organize efforts to make books available for young refugees as they enter Europe. Another accessibility program by the Syndicat national de l’édition reported this week that new books for the visually impaired increased 42% since last year, with 330 texts published in 2015 compared to 233 in 2014. The news coincides with International Literacy Day, which aims to promote literacy as a human right around the world.


Awards Season

This week in literary prizes: The prix Renaudot longlist was announced, with 18 novels and 8 essays making up the chopping block, including Christophe Boltanski's La Cache and Ce coeur changeant by Agnès Desarthe, which this week was awarded the 2015 prix littéraire du Monde. A comprehensive list of September's literary awards can be found here.


Back From the Dead

2016 will see Dale Peck and OR Books cofounder John Oakes relaunch The Evergreen Review, the legendary literary quarterly which ran in print from 1957 until 1995 and online from 1998 until 2013. The publication, known for introducing American audiences to work by Samuel Becket, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras, and Albert Camus, among many others, "launched an assault on American propriety: literary, sexual, and social," mixing radical writers from the U.S. with global names to create a humbucking, rebellious magazine.


Remembering Denis Roche

The tremendous poet and photographer Denis Roche passed away on September 2nd at the age of 77. Roche, a lifelong Parisian, was also a translator of Ezra Pound and prolific publisher of poetry, having composed over 600 pages himself between 1962 and 1972. In addition to writing, Roche founded and edited the acclaimed Fiction & Cie, known for publishing work by literary and critical giants, including Susan Sontag, Antoine Volodine, Thomas Pynchon, and Maurice Roche.


Translation Calling

This year, American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) piloted a year-long mentorship program to "facilitate and establish a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator." In partnership with ALTA, the French Embassy Book Office is sponsoring one mentorship for an emerging translator of French to English. Details can be found here. Our friends at ALTA have also recently launched a new award for Italian literature in English translation.



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