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2017 Hemingway Grant Winners

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Hemingway Grants!



Launched thirty years ago, The Hemingway Grant Program has since supported the translation and publication of numerous French language works in the United States. Fifteen titles from the Spring and Fall 2017 application session have been awarded grants. The selections comprise a remarkable range of French literary works, ranging from twentieth-century novels to contemporary essays.


Ce cauchemar qui n'en finit pas, le néolibéralisme défait la démocratie, by Pierre DARDOT & Christian LAVAL, Editions La Découverte, 2016

Translated by Gregory Elliott | To be published by Verso Books, Fall 2018

This book ventures to explain the reasons behind the 2008 financial crisis-the worst of its kind since 1929. How was neoliberalism made stronger after the crisis? For Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, neoliberalism is not merely dogma; it is a network supported by powerful oligarchies responding to a system of self-reinforcement. Far from functioning as a rupture, the crisis has emerged as a more efficient way to govern the world.


Survival of the Fireflies by Georges DIDI-HUBERMAN, Les éditions de Minuit, 2009

Translated by Lia Swope Mitchell | To be published by Univocal Publishing, March 2018

Georges Didi-Huberman analyzes the power balance between the influential (those who hold the lights), and the minorities (the fireflies), referring to Pier Paolo Pasolini's dichotomy. In this essay, Didi-Huberman contests the disappearance of the fireflies, instead suggesting that they are simply invisible to the powerful. A brilliant essay about the economic imbalances of the 21st century.

Listen to Yourself in the Mountains & Under the Jasmine, at Night by Maissa BEY, Editions de l'Aube, 2002/2006

Translated by Erin Lamm | To be published by University of Virginia Press, April 2018

In Listen to Yourself in the Mountains, a beautiful and thrilling text that revisits a tragic episode of history, novelist and essayist Maissa Bey depicts the death of her father, her skilled prose revealing his torture during the War of Independence in Algeria when she was only seven years old. In the eleven short stories in Under the Jasmine, at Night, women take center-stage and fight for their life, identity, and freedom. 


Des rêves d'angoisse sans fin: récits de rêves (1941-1967), suivi de "Un meutre à deux" (1985) by Louis ALTHUSSER, Grasset & Fasquelle, 2015

Translated by Garrett White | To be published by University of Minnesota Press, May 2018

Louis Althusser once stated that "a dream is always a step ahead of life" (« Le rêve est toujours en avance sur la vie ») as he was writing his autobiography and reflecting on what led him to the murder of his wife. This volume of collected dreams will provide a window into the mind of one of France's most influential philosophers, and the author of Reading Capital and For Marx.


Incest by Christine ANGOT, Editions Stock, 1999

Translated by Tess Lewis | Published by Archipelago Books, November 2017

Falling out of a torrential relationship with another woman and delirious with love and yearning, the narrator’s thoughts grow increasingly cyclical and wild, before ultimately exposing the trauma lying behind her pain. With a confession, the narrator embarks on a psychoanalysis of herself, giving the reader entry into her tangled experiences with homosexuality, paranoia, and, at the core of it all, incest. In a masterful translation from the French by Tess Lewis, Angot’s Incest audaciously confronts its readers with one of our greatest taboos.


Les enfants du chaos, Essai sur le temps des martyrsby Alain BERTHO, La Découverte, 2016

Translated by David Broder | To be published by Verso Books, June 2018

To understand and explain the recent terrorist attacks, anthropologist Alain Bertho did not focus on the religious aspect of his subjects; instead, he concentrated on the consequences of globalization and the crisis in political representation. In view of the fascination for death, Bertho stresses the urgent need to respond to the crisis by reinjecting a radical collective hope in our future.


Blood Dark by Louis GUILLOUX, Gallimard, 1935

Translated by Laura Marris | Published by New York Review of Books, October 2017

Set during World War I, this monumental philosophical novel about human despair inspired Albert Camus' own writing and prefigured the greater existential movement. Louis Guilloux’s novel Blood Dark tells the story of a brilliant philosopher trapped in a provincial town and of his spiraling descent into self-destruction.


Slave Old Man by Patrick CHAMOISEAU, Gallimard, 1997

Translated by Linda Coverdale | To be published by The New Press, May 2018

Slave Old Man is a gripping, profoundly unsettling story of an elderly slave’s daring escape into the wild from a plantation in Martinique, with his master and a fearsome hound on his heels. Chamoiseau’s exquisitely rendered new novel is an adventure for all time, one that fearlessly portrays the demonic cruelties of the slave trade and its human costs in vivid, sometimes hallucinatory prose.


A History of Mexico City by Serge GRUZINSKI, Fayard, 1996

Translated by Stephen Sawyer | To be published by University of California Press, March 2019

The history of Mexico City is monumental, like Our Lady of Guadalupe that watches over the city. That’s because time, people, and cultures have never stopped intermixing there. The author tells the story of Mexico City in reverse, from the chaos of a global metropolis to the rise of the imperial Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.

Judge & Punish: The Penal State on Trial by Geoffroy DE LAGASNERIE, Librairie Arthème Fayard, 2016

Translated by Lara Vergnaud | To be published by Stanford University Press, May 2018

Judge and Punish shows that juridical institutions are not merely a response to crime. The state claims to guarantee our security, yet from our birth, we also belong to it. The criminal trial, a magnifying mirror, reveals our true condition as political subjects.


Babylon by Yasmina REZA, Flammarion, 2016

Translated by Linda Asher | To be published by Seven Stories Press, May 2018

Elisabeth, a pensive, memory-laden science professional in a long and tender marriage, has barely befriended their touching younger neighbor when, in a fit of blind pain over a scornful scolding, the man kills his beloved and appealing wife. Elisabeth is drawn, out of sympathy, to help her sad friend cover up his crime. Her account of her unaccountable impulse moves into a quick-moving, canny police procedural—humor and sorrow, life.


Le Supermarché du visible : Essai d'iconomie by Peter SZENDY, Editions de Minuit, 2017

To be published by Fordham University Press

Analysis, examination: this is what Walter Benjamin already described in 1929 as a “space charged completely with images.” In other words: this saturated visibility, which comes from everywhere, surrounds us entirely. Such an iconic space is the product of history, namely, the circulation and commodification of images. Guided by footage from Hitchcock, Bresson, Antonioni, de Palma, and The Sorpranos, these pages aim to lift the veil on what Bataille calls a “general iconography.”


Pretty Things by Virginie DESPENTES, Grasset & Fasquelle, 1998

Translated by Emma Ramadan | To be published by The Feminist Press, August 2018

Claudine has always been pretty and Pauline has always been ugly. But when Claudine wants to become famous, she convinces gloomy Pauline—with her angelic voice—to pretend they’re the same person. Yet just as things take off, Claudine commits suicide. Pauline hatches a new scheme, pulling on her dead sister’s identity, inhabiting her apartment, and reading her mail. As the impersonation continues, Pauline slowly realizes that the cost of femininity is to dazzle on the outside while rotting away on the inside—and that womanhood is what ultimately killed her sister.

Theory of MultiDreams – A cosmic-dream investigation by H.P. Lovecraft by Jean-Philippe CAZIER, Dis Voir, 2017

Translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman | Published by Dis Voir, September 2017

Theory of MultiDreams is a work of fiction loosely inspired by the contemporary astrophysicist Aurelien Barrau’s work on “Multiverses” and by the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. The book entwines astrophysics and fantasy literature through fiction, deconstructing the frameworks of narration, logic, identity, space and time.


The Eye by Philippe COSTAMAGNA, Grasset & Fasquelle, 2016

Translated by Frank Wynne | To be published by New Vessel Press, August 2018

The Eye lifts the veil on the rarified world of connoisseurs devoted to the authentication and discovery of Old Master art works. This is an art adventure story and a memoir all in one, written by a leading expert on the Renaissance whose métier is a high-stakes detective game involving massive amounts of money and frenetic activity in the service of the art market and scholarship alike.

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy also offer a French Voices grants for prestigious French titles forthcoming in the US, learn more about the 2017 French Voices' titles here.