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Seattle Puts Francophone Comics in the Spotlight

The Made in France association has been promoting French culture in Seattle and providing extracurricular French classes to middle school and high school students and adults since 2016. This year, it will be hosting the city’s first Francophone comic arts festival, which will be held online from December 2 through 5. It all started when Jean Bastide came to visit....

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Eric Vuillard: Giving a Voice to Public Wrath

After winning the 2017 Prix Goncourt for The Order of the Day, Eric Vuillard published The War of the Poor in France last year, recounting the civil uprising that accompanied the 16th-century Protestant Reformation in Germany. This dense, incisive work available in English since November 3 does justice to the memory of the oppressed and shines a light on our...

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“Versailles Is Part of the American Landscape”

Everyone needs a Rockefeller. Even France, even Versailles! This stubborn gem of French art was restored to its former glory by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby during the 1920s. Dozens of American philanthropists have since followed in their footsteps and contributed to the restoration of one of the best-known and most-visited buildings on the planet. Last year...

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Meryem Alaoui: In the Heart of Casablanca

An insolent, resilient prostitute has her life turned upside down when she meets a young director. Published in France in 2018 and in the United States on September 15, 2020, Straight from the Horse’s Mouth is the first novel from a young Moroccan writer. She has her section of sidewalk, her regular clients, a small bedroom she shares with her...

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Perspective Through Exile: James Baldwin in France

A key figure in the fight against discrimination and for civil rights in the United States, African-American novelist James Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924. Fleeing racism in America, he arrived in Paris in 1948. France was where he wrote his most famous works, such as Notes of a Native Son (1955), Giovanni’s Room (1956) and Just Above My Head...

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Nicolas Mathieu: A Novel for a Disillusioned Generation

Awarded the 2018 Prix Goncourt, "And Their Children After Them" follows a handful of young people between 1992 and 1998 in a French region hit by deindustrialization. Nicolas Mathieu’s second novel, published in English in the United States on April 7, is a vast social epic offering a masterful portrait of a forgotten France. In the hot summer sun of Lorraine...

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Simone de Beauvoir in America

Born in 1908, the philosopher, novelist, and essayist was 39 when she arrived in New York. She had not yet published her renowned feminist work The Second Sex (1949), but had written three novels, including She Came to Stay, and two essays. Invited by the French cultural services to give a series of conferences at American universities, she spent four...

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Confinement: 10 Books for Francophile Readers

This is your new reality: You are confined at home for the foreseeable future. Take advantage of this time to read. France-Amerique has compiled a list of 10 books in French, novels, essays on economy or history, graphic novels, and even a coffee-table book on French cheese! Some bookstores offer curbside delivery, and others, like Albertine in New York, made ordering...

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Adeline Dieudonné: Childhood in the Lion’s Den

In her first novel, to be published in the U.S. on February 4, Belgian writer Adeline Dieudonné portrays a young girl struggling with her tyrannical father, a big-game hunter with a fascination for bloodshed. Awarded the Prix Renaudot des Lycéens in 2018, Real Life reveals an author with a singular perspective blending unease with dark humor. In the chamber of...

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Denise Bombardier: “In America, Mr. Matzneff Would Already Be in Jail”

In 1990, the Quebecer journalist was the only person to condemn the acts of pedophilia committed by Gabriel Matzneff. The successful French writer was an idol of the Parisian intelligentsia who used his attraction to young boys and girls as a major inspiration for his books. After being insulted by her French colleagues, Denise Bombardier has become a heroine for...

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Philippe Lançon: Life After Charlie Hebdo

In Disturbance, the French writer and journalist describes his slow reconstruction after being severely wounded in the terrorist attack against newspaper Charlie Hebdo. A deeply moving account the author will present in the U.S. from January 23-31. On January 7, 2015, two men armed with assault rifles entered the offices of satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo and opened fire on...

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Michel Houellebecq: The Writer Behind the Phenomenon

The French writer published Sérotonine last January at the age of 62. His latest work, which was recently translated in English and published in the U.S., offers another take on his favorite character, the depressed white male. While less political than Submission, the new novel with a print run of 320,000 copies made the front pages in France, despite the...

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Jean-Paul Dubois, the Worried Observer of America

With a dozen novels, short stories, and essays to his name, Jean-Paul Dubois has created a profoundly human body of work inspired by his experience in America, where he worked as a correspondent for Le Nouvel Observateur for 15 years. His latest novel, Tous les hommes n’habitent pas le monde de la même façon, won France’s top literary honor, the...

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Isadora Duncan, Reborn in a Graphic Novel

Ninety years after her death, long-forgotten American dancer Isadora Duncan is now back in the spotlight. Franco-American actress Lily-Rose Depp played her in the movie The Dancer three years ago, and she is now the lead character in a graphic novel published in France by Dargaud in 2017 and translated into English this week by SelfMadeHero. Isadora retraces the fanciful...

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How Charles de Gaulle Rescued France

As Julian Jackson insists in the preface of his biography, published by Harvard University Press in 2018 and translated in French by Seuil, De Gaulle is “everywhere” in modern France, its undisputed hero. This claim, like some other confident statements in the book, may strike a reader as both narrowly true and what a French thinker might call metaphysically false. His...

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Jean-Baptiste Del Amo: Up Close and Personal With Nature

French author Jean-Baptiste Del Amo won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman for Une éducation libertine in 2008, and in 2016 published Règne animal, a denunciation of the violent treatment of animals. Driven by lyrical, organic writing, it will be released in English in the United States on September 10 as Animalia. Rarely does a book stimulate all the senses...

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Philippe Petit, the Last Sky Poet

Anticipating the 45th anniversary of Philippe Petit’s incredible tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York, the New Directions publishing house has rereleased his book, On the High Wire, a practical, poetic little work translated into English by New York writer Paul Auster. Philippe Petit sitting down is a sad sight to behold. He usually inspires images of a...

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Monsieur Mediocre: The High Art of Being French Everyday

John von Sothen is an American columnist who lives in Paris, where he covers entertainment and society issues for French Vanity Fair. He moved there after meeting his wife, Anaïs, in a café in Brooklyn. They now have two kids who, with Anaïs, are featured throughout his first book, Monsieur Mediocre, which is ultimately a love letter to France — to...

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Laurent Gaudé: Observing the Wounds of History

French novelist and playwright Laurent Gaudé was born in 1972 and has written several plays, novels, short stories, and opera libretti. He was awarded the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens in 2002 for Death of an Ancient King, an epic novel about a fictional African monarch, followed by the Prix Goncourt in 2004 for his novel The Scortas’ Sun, which paints...

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Lucky Luke, a Cowboy in Paris

Lucky Luke is the main character in a Francophone comic-book series, but is all but unknown in the United States where the market is dominated by superheroes from the Marvel franchise. For the first time ever, in Lucky Luke, a Cowboy in Paris published in French and English, the sheriff has left the American West to visit France during the Belle...