French Books USA: Week in Review

October 11, 2016 | By Jeremy Albet

Hergé celebrated at The Grand Palais

This Fall, all eyes are on Comics. In New York, the month-long French Comics Framed festival is underway and in Paris, Le Grand Palais celebrates Tintin Belgian creator Georges Remi, better known under his artist name Hergé, with an exhibition on the father of bandes dessinées. Although The Adventures of Tintin sold more than 250 million copies and were translated into a hundred languages, they play only a small part in the exhibition as we get access to lesser known works from the visionary artist. Comics Quick et Flupke and Jo, Zette et Jocko, are notably showcased at the Grand Palais, along with advertisement drawings and a number of abstract paintings he both created and collected, including the works of Roy Lichtenstein and Fontana. A portrait of Hergé from Andy Warhol, who publicly praised Hergé as one of the greatest artists of his time, can also be seen at the exhibition.

Exhibition on Oscar Wilde at The Petit Palais

In his later years, driven away from his British Isle, Oscar Wilde often said “France gave me asylum”. This fall, the Parisian museum Le Petit Palais devotes an exhibition on the Irish dandy. “Oscar Wilde: The Absolute Impertinent” highlights the author’s hectic life through his correspondences, his writings and his rebellious attitude, which led both to his rise in class within British Society as well as his downfall from it. The exhibition gave Merlin Hollande, Wilde’s grandson, “a huge jolt of emotion” and will appeal to both literature and art enthusiasts.

Ananda Devi featured in The Guardian and Lithub 

Ananda Devi, who just ended a very successful and prolific US tour for Eve out of her Ruins published by Deep Vellum, was featured in a laudatory article by Deborah Smith in The Guardian and in Lithub. “I was blown away by the sensual prose and startling images”. Eve Out of her Ruins is a new addition to Les Fugitives, a UK publishing house that centers on short works of fiction and narrative non-fiction by award-winning Francophone female authors, such as Nathalie Léger’s Suite for Barbara Loden.

The Passing of Ted Benoit

Illustrator and Scenarist Ted Benoit passed away on Friday September 30th at the age of 69. An adept of the ‘ligne claire’, an artistic characteristic which he shared with artists Hergé and Edgar P. Jacobs’, Ted Benoit was well known for bringing back Jacobs’ series Blake and Mortimer illustrating two books: The Francis Blake Affair, 1996; and The Strange Encounter, 2001, both written by Jean Van Hamme.

Grand Prix Goncourt & Grand Prix du Roman

The list of eight nominees for the Grand Prix Goncourt was released earlier this week.Gaël Faye, Karine Tuil, Sylvain Prudhomme and Nathacha Appanah are becoming recurrent names as the weeks go by and the lists of nominees for most French literary prizes are revealed. Gaël Faye is also among the ten contenders for the Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie Française, released last week.

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