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French Books USA: Week in Review

By Jasmine Bissete

Festival Albertine 2017 Announced

The fourth edition of the Festival Albertine, curated by Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan, will take place from November 1st-5th, 2017. As announced exclusively in the New York Times, this year’s festival will explore the theme “Feminism Has No Boundaries.” The festival will feature feminist figures from France and the United States, including Christiane Taubira, Soraya Chemaly, Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, Caroline de Haas, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Cecile Richards, and Mona Chollet. Also participating in the festival is Roxane Gay, whose book Bad Feminist appeared on The Guardian’s list of the ten best feminist texts.

New York Comic Con Shines a Spotlight on French Authors

The French Comics Association organized the second annual French Comics Framed festival, celebrating Franco-Belgian comic artists, during New York Comic Con from October 4th-9th. The theme of the festival was “French Comics Kiss Better.” Featured artists included Pénélope Bagieu, Brüno, Mathieu Lauffray, Patricia Lyfoung, Fabien Nury, Alexis Sentenac, El Torres, Valérie Vernay, and Zep. The events, such as a draw jam at Albertine Bookstore and the DIY to a Career in Comics panel at Columbia University, were “a huge opportunity to present the French culture of bande dessinée,” per Jean Paciulli, president of the French Comics Association. For an interview with Patricia Lyfoung and Valérie Vernay, click here.

Author Jay McInerney Named Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Brat Pack writer Jay McInerney was named Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in a ceremony at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. He was decorated alongside artist Laurie Anderson, who participated in Night of Philosophy's 2016 edition. McInerney shot to fame in 1984 with the publication of Bright Lights, Big City. His other notable works include Ransom, Story of My Life, Brightness Falls, and The Last of the Savages. The author is also a connoisseur of French wines, having published A Hedonist in the Cellar: Adventures in Wine, Bacchus and Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar, and The Juice: Vinous Veritas. McInerney’s ties with France are longstanding; he is a member of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and was awarded the Médaille de la Ville de Paris in 2011.

Piketty and Guilluy Named in List of Best Contemporary Political Texts

Works by French authors Christophe Guilluy and Thomas Piketty have been cited in The Guardian’s list of the ten best books about the politics of now. In Le Crépuscule de la France d’en Haut, geographer Guilluy “contrasts the prosperity and dynamism to be found in major cities such as Paris and Bordeaux with the grim realities of ‘peripheral’ France, where a majority of the population spend their lives.” Piketty, an economist, tackles “the role of inherited wealth in driving unequal outcomes in western societies… [laying] bare the mechanism that ensures the rich get richer and pull away from the rest of society” in Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Image © Beowulf Sheehan