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Nov 2
The Question of Race in Contemporary France ONLINE EVENT The Department of French and Italian at Princeton

2020 Hemingway Grant Winners: First Session

Every year since 1990’s, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy supports American publishers for the translation and publication of French books in the U.S through its Hemingway Grant Program. This year, we are proud to announce that 9 titles from a number of remarkable works were selected. Beneficiaries of the grants receive financial assistance of up to $3,000.


Frère d'âme by David Diop, Seuil, 2018

Translated by Anna Moschovakis | To be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux under the title At Night All Blood is Black

At Night All Blood is Black plunges the reader into the heart of the trenches of the First World War where chaos reigns supreme and criminal impulses take over. After seeing his childhood friend die under his eyes without having been able to shorten his sufferings, Alfa Ndiaye, a young Senegalese man, has only one desire: to avenge the death of his brother. Then begins a macabre ritual, a hunt that risks making him lose his soul. Awarded the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, David Diop offers a dark epic on the horror of the Great War which shows all the madness of No Man's Land.

More info here.

Les Champs Magnetiques by André Breton and Philippe Soupault, Gallimard, 1920

Translated by Charlotte Mandell | To be published by New York Review Books under the title The Magnetic Fields

Published in 1920, The Magnetic Fields marked a revolutionary turning point in the literary world of the twentieth century. It all began in the spring of 1919 when André Breton and Philippe Soupault embarked on a new project, that of managing to write a work resulting only from spontaneous thoughts. For a week, they frantically wrote whatever came to their mind, without any censorship or editing. After the brutality of the First World War, this experience of automatic writing will be revealing and will mark the beginnings of the surrealism movement.

More info here.

Morgue Pleine by Jean-Patrick Manchette, Gallimard, 1973

Translated by Alyson Waters | To be published by New York Review Books under the title No Room at the Morgue

No Room at the Morgue is the story of Eugène Tarpon, a private eye, once a police officer, who opened his office after being fired from the police for accidentally killing a political protester. Tired of his dreary daily life, he is on the verge of giving up his disastrous career, but everything changes when he sets out to help a beautiful woman. A chaotic investigation begins, full of twists and turns, of this unfortunate detective, which will culminate in hysteria.

More info here.

Dans l'béton by Anne Garréta, Grasset & Fasquelle, 2017

Translated by Emma Ramadan | To be published by Deep Vellum under the title In/concrete

In her new novel, Anne Garreta takes us on an incredible adventure where a washing machine is silted up, a concrete mixer is seized with madness and a young girl is statuified. It all starts when a father decides to buy a concrete mixer to modernize the family home. He decides to teach his daughters how to operate the machine, but nothing goes as planned. The younger sister is accidentally trapped in concrete and catastrophes follow one another without a means of stopping them, according to the physical law of entropy: it is nothing but confusion, chaos, and anarchy. Through a unique writing style where spelling mistakes coexist with onomatopoeias and saucy allusions, the border between spoken and written language gradually ceases to exist.

Mahagony by Edouard Glissant, Gallimard, 1997

Translated by Betsy Wing | To be published by University of Nebraska Press under the title Mahagony

Edouard Glissant's work explores the bowels of a deported and colonized people who have been deprived of their own history for decades. In Mahagony, he gives voice to a few maroons from Martinique who fled into the woods, during colonial times, in an attempt to escape their condition of slavery and regain a liberty that had been denied them for too long. One after the other, from 1831 to 1978, a child, a rebel, and a delinquent, will thus try to take refuge far from an oppressive system and go beyond by trying to understand the world. After Poetics of Relation, Edouard Glissant offers a powerful and committed story that puts an end to the misrepresentation of an oppressed people.

More info here.

Poétique de l'emploi by Noemi Lefebvre, Gallimard, 2018

Translated by Sophie Lewis | To be published by Transit Books under the title Poetics of Work

In a society where it is recommended to be efficient, to want to "earn a living" instead of losing it to live, to have a stable job, Noemie Lefebvre questions herself on the effects that the rise of capitalism can have on our way of life as well as our thoughts. She introduces us to a poet, currently unemployed, subjected to multiple injunctions that make him feel guilty of failing to fit into the mold of our system. In this treatise on "knowing how to survive", the author delivers ten lessons to the young contemporary poets, to help them cope with the pressure imposed by this well-meaning society which leaves no room for poetry.

More info here.

Eleven Sooty Dreams by [Manuela Draeger, J. T. Mahany]

Onze rêves de suie by Manuela Draeger, L'Olivier, 2010

Translated by J. T. Mahany | To be published by Open Letter Books under the title Eleven Sooty Dreams

In a utopian Eastern Europe, after the defeat of the second Soviet Union, a group of young orphans attempted a leftist revolutionary movement on the occasion of a prohibited demonstration, the bolcho pride. However, their attempt fails and they find themselves trapped in a burning building from which they will not escape. Desperate, they invoke the dark and violent memories of their childhood in the ghettos where all hope had disappeared. They also rethink of Grandma Holgolde, who told them tales with the hope of giving them faith in the future. A touching story, imbued with fantasy where the marvelous faces the sad reality.

More info here.

America by François Busnel, Les Editions America, 2017

To be published by Grove Atlantic under the title America, An Anthology of France and the United States

From the streets of Manhattan to the Wyoming wilderness to the bright lights of Hollywood, the quarterly mook America offers an immersive journey through the United States by the today's greatest writers. From Alain Mabanckou to Leïla Slimani or Philippe Besson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Louise Erdrich, each celebrates the special relationship between France and the United States. Created in 2016, the literary and political review consists of sixteen issues bringing together interviews, surveys, chronicles, illustrations, reports and literary excerpts. An essential tool for getting behind the scenes of America.

More info here.

L'Iguifou by Scholastique Mukasonga, Gallimard, 2010

Translated by Jordan Stump | To be published by Archipelago Books under the title Igifu

The Igifu signifies the hunger that consumes the stomach, that which affects the Tutsi of Nyamata, victims of famine. In addition to hunger, there is the fear of dying, of being killed, of having their family executed. No one escapes it, not even the cow farmer or the most beautiful girl in the area whose lives will end tragically. In his novel, Scholastique Mukasonga attempts, through soft writing filled with poetry, to testify of the pain for those who must face the mourning of the genocide in order to survive.

More info here.