Translated Titles 2015

March 7, 2016 | By FRENCH CULTURE BOOKS

Thanks to the invaluable help of 1100 of our contacts in publishing, we have built a near-complete list of 2015’s titles in translation from the French, of which, as far as we're aware, there is no equivalent. The fact that this list is not exhaustive serves to show the sheer volume of titles published.

2014 was a fantastic year for French translation with 547 titles appearing in English. 2015’s 473 titles marked a slight decline; however the number remains about equal with 2013. Among this year’s translations, fiction accounted for 162 titles (fewer than 2014’s 189 but more than 2013’s 147) and nonfiction tallied at 130 (63 of which were contemporary pieces). A noticeable increase in graphic novels brought their number up to 116 this year, and 46 children and youth titles round out the total number.

Generally speaking, a fair number of more well-known names published in France in 2014-2015 made the transition to translation, such as Michel Houellebecq (Submission), Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano (So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood), and Yasmina Khadra (The Dictator’s Last Night). Newer voices also found American publishers, including Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Tram 83) and Kamel Daoud (The Meursault Investigation), who was in New york in November for Albertine Festival. Classic titles, which continue to make up a stable chunk of annual translations, included works by Octave Mirbeau, Leon Bloy, Joris-Karl Huysmans, and Georges Simenon.

Regarding comics and graphic books, we have seen a rise in translation across the board. Aside from the classics (Lucky Luke, The Smurfs, Spirou & Fantasio, and so on), newer series like Kenya by Leo and The Quest for Time Bird by Loisel and Serge Le Tendre made their debuts in the U.S. Among new, original titles, Riad Sattouf’s illustrated memoir The Arab of the Future and Thus Zarathustra Fell Silent by Nicolas Wild were both standouts in a positive year for the format.

In a pleasing year for youth literature, we were happy to see works by Dorothée de Monfreid, Kitty Crowther, and  Stéphanie Blake (all of whom are published in France by L’École des Loisirs) available in the U.S. Our current exhibition at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York celebrates 50 years of L’École des Loisirs with a special month-long series of activities and showcases is curated by Maria Popova and will be viewing until December 20th. Do not miss it!

Please also note that some of the recently translated authors on the list will be touring the U.S. in the upcoming year, including historian and Arabist Jean-Pierre Filiu, whose book, From Deep State to Islamic State: The Arab Counter-Revolution and its Jihadi Legacy was published by Oxford University Press in July. Haitian poet and writer Kettly Mars will also tour stateside to promote her latest book, Savage Seasons. Make sure to keep up with our Authors on Tour page for the latest updates and tour postings.

We have done everything possible to verify the information we received. However, our list might not be error-free. If you know of any translated titles from the French that aren't on our list, or if you spotted a mistake (reprint listed, books not distributed in the US, etc.) please shoot the Book Department an email at 972livre@gmail.com. We’ll gladly make the changes.

You can browse our 2015 list, as well as our previous lists for 2014, 2013, and 2012.

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