French Voices Grantees Seeking American Publishers

June 2, 2016 | By Angélique Boutefol

The French Voices Award honors both translators and American publishers for their work with the goal of creating a series of U.S.-published books representing the very best of contemporary French writing in every field. The titles, selected by a professional jury, are chosen for their originality and the quality of their translation.
Some of our award winners don't yet have an American publisher, but we believe that all 10 titles currently looking for a home have the potential to touch American readers.

Requirement for the title’s new home:
Publisher’s active involvement in the translation and publishing of the French author.
Distribution and promotion of the work on the American market (and possibly beyond).
All works should be identified by the French Voices Logo and include a foreword by an American writer.

For each title, the American publisher will receive a sum of $6,000, to be divided between the publisher ($4,000) and the translator ($2,000).

Main task:
Publish one or several following titles:

Daewoo by François Bon, (Fayard, 2004), translated by Alison Dundy & Emmanuelle Ertel

Daewoo is an evocative and powerful novel based on documentary research and interviews with former employees of the Korean corporation. It focuses on the stories of four women and on the haunting absence of a fifth one, Sylvia, who commited suicide after the plant closed.
“The reader is moved and devasted by this exploration of those who have fought to the point of losing connection with life, or even life itself for one of them.” —  Le Matricule des anges.
Contact: Carole Saudejaud —


Corniche Kennedy by Maylis de Kerangal (Verticales, 2008), translated by par Michael Lucey

An experimental, sensual prose, Corniche Kennedy tells of the fierce will to live of marginalized adolescents, and how they eventually get caught in the social order of the world around them. Kerangal received the prestigious Medicis Prize in 2010.

Read a excerpt in French here!

“A beautiful novel that reads like an intensely poetic variation on eternal adolescence.” — Télérama


D’un pays sans amour by Gilles Rozier (Grasset, 2011), translated by Pierre Hodgson

This novel seeks inspirations in the fates of three Yiddish poets and writers that have fled in Poland. Their stories allow us to better understand the catastrophy that hit European Jews.
‘This title manages, the tour de force of making us breathe “air from a time that no longer exists”, but which nevertheless, flying in the face of all logic, persists from sheer resilience.” — Le Monde
Contact: Heidi Warneke —


Un mage en été  by Olivier Cadiot, (P.O.L, 2010), translated by Anna Fitzgerald

Through this free meditation on the powers of literature and beauty, Olivier Cadiot, a major literary French voice, deftly and playfully weaves film and magic with bits of his own biography to create a fleet and refreshing novel.

Read a excerpt in French here!

“There is something simple, joyful and exuberant about this very personal read. A successful experimental writing.” — French Voices committee
Contact: Vibeke Madsen —


Une partie de chasse by Agnès Desarthe (L’Olivier, 2012), translated by Christina Hills

At a hunting party, a man falls into an underground gallery. Tristan, a novice hunter, stays with him while the others seek help. A long wait begins. While talking with the wounded rabbit he hid in his pocket, Tristan tries to make sense of the violence surrounding him.
“A poetic novel whose violence is tempered by intelligence and the author’s unstinting originality.” —  Marie Claire
Contact: Violaine Faucon —


Bain de lune by Yanick Lahens (Sabine Wespieser, 2014), translated by Emily Gogolak => A contract is currently under negociation.

A girl from the village of Anse Bleue wakes up on the sand with waves crashing against her back, wondering how she got there. In Bain de lune, winner of the 2014 Prix Femina, Lahens writes a family epic of violent beauty. She takes us back three generations into the lives of the Mésidors and the Lafleurs in "a voyage into the interior realms."

Read a excerpt in French here!

“In the Haitian tradition of the rural novel […] Yannick Lahens’ Bain de Lune establishes itself by its grand and lucid beauty.” — Le Point
Contact: Magalie Delobelle —


Le Crieur de nuit by Nelly Alard (Gallimard, 2010), translated by Grace McQuillan

“You’re dead. At last.” It is in these terms that the narrator addresses her father, who has just succumbed to a long illness. Looking back at her difficult childhood, Sophie experiences a strange mix of grief and relief. She comes to terms with the death of the abusive tyrant, who terrorized her mother and siblings, and slowly regains her taste for life. Legends and tales loom in this story haunted by the laments of the “Ankou,” a fabled ghost in Brittany’s mythology.

Read a excerpt in French here!

“This is a keen, sardonic and spirited story, with springtime sharpness.” — Le Point
Contact: Anne-Solange Noble —


Travesti by David Dumortier (Le Dilettante, 2012), translated by Ava Lehrer

This semi-autobiographical book fearlessly recounts the story of a man’s journey from his brutal childhood in Charente through his life as a writer and transvestite in Paris. Through poetic flights and startling imagery, Dumortier explores a diverse set of challenging subjects and moves boldly among three distinct voices: the sensitive child who endures a terrorizing father, the writer narrating his visits to schools and mentorship of children, and the promiscuous cross-dresser.

Read a excerpt in English here!

“From raw words to hard images, from brutal cynicism to the sharpest nastiness, the narrator doesn’t retreat from any truth, any harshness, any darkness. But he never deviates from his incredible talent.” — Marie-Claire
Contact: Claude Tarrène —


Réparateur de Destin by Cyrille Fleischman, (Fayard, 2010), translated by Lyn E. Palermo & Catherine Zobal Dent

In Réparateur de destin published the year of the author's death, Fleischman plunges into the postwar Yiddish community in the Marais. Rooted in the small quartier known as the Pletzi with its concentration of Jewish inhabitants originally from Central Europe, this collection is a window into Yiddishkeit, the culture of the Ashkenazi Jews, as it was stitched in the fabric of mid-century Paris.
“Cyrille Fleischman’s books evoke the ordinary people of Paris’s Jewish quarter with tenderness and originality.” — Télérama
Contact: Carole Saudejaud —


Lettre à Zohra D. by Danielle Michel-Chich (Flammarion, 2012), translated by Lara Vergnaud

In an open letter addressed to the FLN militant behind the 1956 Milk Bar bombing in Algiers, Danielle Michel-Chich, a witness to the attack, asks if the end justified the means. Far from offering a bitter assignation of blame, Michel-Chich, whose grandmother died in the attack and who herself lost a leg, comes to terms with her personal trauma, while appealing for humanity in wartime.
“Danielle wanted her story to be appeased. She says we can suffer and yet not desire vengeance. The ultimate goal of this letter to Zohra D. is to ask the moral question of terrorism, that which is found throughout Camus’s work: can we kill for a just cause?” — Le Nouvel Observateur
Contact: Florence Giry —


Don't hesitate to contact us for more informations : excerpts are available on demand!


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