Holiday Reading List 2015 |FICTION|
As the year comes to a close, take a few moments to peruse our selections of notable books from the second half of 2015. With a range of titles from children's books and graphic novels to classic poetry and uproarious fiction, there's something on this list for everyone on yours.
Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Diaboliques: Six Tales of Decadence | University of Minnesota Press | Translated by Raymond MacKenzie
A staple short story collection by one of the masters of its early form. The boredom and inner desires of the Second French Republic come to a boil as the women in d'Aurevilly's stories are masterfully depicted in their crimes of revenge.
Jean-Philippe Blondel, The 6:41 to Paris | New Vessel Press | Translated by Alison Anderson
A pair of former lovers chance upon each other on a train nearly thirty years after their tumultuous split. What follows is a tense hour and a half as the two engage in a back-and-forth series of interior monologues about their shared past, anger, fears, and redemptions as the passenger train hurdles toward the French capital.
Emmanuel Bove, Henri Duchemin and his Shadows | New York Review Books | Translated by Alyson Waters
Bove's melancholic stories deal with the grit, paranoia, and desparation of his characters and the crumbling world around them. An ideal introduction to one of the masters of subtlety and tension.
Hubert Haddad, Rochester Knockings |Open Letter Books|Translated by Jennifer Grotz
Three sisters in provincial Rochester, NY, cleverly claim to be able to communicate with the dead and launch the Spiritualist movement in the United States. After they move to New York City, their séances attract hundreds of spectators and the sisters are catapaulted to fame as the faces of a movement until everything falls apart.
Michel Houellebecq, Submission |Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux| Translated by Lorin Stein
A morally complex novel; great in scope and greater in controversy. Houellebecq posits a near-future France governed by a charasmatic Islamist party and a listless populace that succombs to ideology. This novel is a treatise on the necessity of discourse against the hegemonic power of politics in our everyday lives.
Anne Berest, Sagan, Paris 1954 |Gallic Books| Translated by Heather Lloyd
At once a narrative protrayal of a young Françoise Sagan in the midst of the social upheaval that would lead to her image as a wildling, and also an intimate tribute to Sagan's best-known work, Bonjour Tristesse, Berest offers a deft look at liberation and midcentury France.
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