• Events

French Books In The US - The 2018 Edition

This year, 517 titles in French translation are scheduled to be published in the United States, on par with the record levels of 2015 and 2016 after a temporary dip in 2017.

The results of the annual survey undertaken by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy will be updated at the end of the year with final figures.

In fiction, 122 books translated from the French are being published in the United States in 2018. Of those, no less than 56 had been released in France in the last 10 years, which highlights the interest of American publishers for contemporary Francophone fiction.

One third is by women. Among them, many are new entrants: Negar Djavadi publishes her first novel Disoriental (Europa Editions), prolific writer Chloé Delaume’s work comes out for the first time in the US with Not a Clue (University of Nebraska Press), Catherine Poulain with Woman at sea (Jonathan Cape), the young Sarah Léon with The Wanderer (Other Press), and Célia Houdart with Quarry (Dalkey Archive Press).

Once again, several of the major prize winners in France are featured in the list, such as Gaël Faye’s Small Country, the 2016 Prix Goncourt des Lycéens (Hogarth); the latest winners of the Prix Goncourt, Leïla Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny (Penguin) and Eric Vuillard’s The Order of the Day (Other Press).

Some classics are also released with a new translation, including Proust’s The Guermantes Way: In Search of Lost Time, (Penguin Books), Lamartine’s Graziella (University of Minnesota Press), Balzac’s Treatise on Modern Stimulants (Wakefield Press) and Restif de la Bretonne’s Discovery of the Austral Continent by Flying Man (Five Ties Publishing).

Major contemporary figures have also seen recent work been published, such as the Haitian artist and poet Frankétienne, the Martinican author Patrick Chamoiseau, Nobel Prize-winner Patrick Modiano, Abdourahman A. Waberi and Scholastique Mukasonga, and member of the Académie Française Andreï Makine, who each have published two books in the US this year.

Non-fiction has seen a sharp rise in 2018, with 179 titles.

With 33 titles, philosophy remains recognized as a French specialty, including Anne Dufourmantelle’s Power of Gentleness: Meditations on the Risk of Living (Fordham University Press), Evelyne Grossman’s The Anguish of Thought (University of Minnesota Press), and the 2015 Prix Femina Essay winner Emmanuelle Loyer’s Lévi-Strauss. A Biography (Polity Press). Interest for towering figures of the past fifty years such as Alain Badiou and Jacques Derrida, with 5 titles each, has not diminished. Promisingly, strong contemporary voices such as Achille Mbembe and Georges Didi-Huberman each have two books published by different publishing houses.

20 titles have been translated in history, with a wide range of topics: Nagy Piroska and Damien Boquet (Polity Press) focus on the History of emotions in the Middle Ages; Anne Cheng on Chinese history (Social Sciences Press). The Second World War remains a fruitful ground for research, as shown by Tania Crasnianski’s Children of Nazis: The Sons and Daughter of Himmler, Göring, Hoss, Mengele, and Others: Living with a Father’s Monstrous Legacy (Skyhorse / Arcade Publishing), and Father Patrick Desbois’s In Broad Daylight (Arcade Publishing).

At the intersection of the social and political Gérôme Truc’s Shell Shocked: The Social Response to Terrorist attacks (Polity Press), Alain Bertho’s The Age of Violence (Verso Books), The Jungle. Calais’s Camps and Migrants by Michel Agier (Polity Press), The Experience of Injustice: A Theory of Recognition (Columbia University Press), and Social Suffering (Rowman & Littlefield) by Emmanuel Renault provide a fine analysis and help us decipher today’s world.

Titles in economics are represented by Michel Aglietta and a new generation shepherded by established figures such as Thomas Piketty.

There is an unprecedented amount of interest for French comics with 146 graphic novels translated this year. IDW publishing accounts for almost 30% of this production, among which Malika Ferdjoukh’s children book adaptation along with Cati Baur Four Sisters, Vol. 1: Enid and Hervé Bourhis’ didactical books The Little Book of Rock and The Little Book of Comic Arts. Riad Sattouf carries on his very successful pentalogy with The Arab of the Future (Metropolitan). New York Review of Books carries on publishing French classics, such as Gébé’s Letter to Survivors. Graphic books inspired by literature also are in vogue, as evidenced by the adaption by Jacques Ferrandez of Camus’ famous novel The First Man (Pegasus Books).

Finally, we have tallied 66 children books, as many as in 2017, including works by Constanze Kitzing and Orianne Lallemand with four books respectively published by Barefoot Books and Auzou. Meanwhile, Abrams Books carry on the fruitful collaboration of Jo Witek and Christine Roussey.

Here is the 2018 French Books in the US list.  

In the event that we have overlooked a publication or that your titles’s publication are postponed, please let email us at 972livre@gmail.com: and we would update our list without delay.

If you need more information about previous publications, here are the articles for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Please note that several authors mentioned on the list will soon be visiting the United States. Please check our Authors on tour presentation for more information on author events.

PDF icon list_of_translated_books_in_the_u.s._in_2018.pdf