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Edouard Louis: Books as Weapons

The acclaimed French author recently graced the pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post, which profiled him as his third novel, Qui a tué mon père, was published in France and his second novel, Une histoire de la violence (History of Violence), was translated and published in the U.S. As he did in his celebrated debut novel,...

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Why Are Books on French Women so Successful in the U.S.?

American writer Sadie Stein has no shame about it: she delights in art de vivre manuals and other self-help books à la française. These guides explaining how to behave, talk, dress, work, eat, flirt, decorate your home, or raise your children like a French woman are increasingly popular in the U.S. “The crazier things get here at home, it seems,...

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Gaël Faye: From Rapper to Best-Selling Author

French-Rwandan author Gaël Faye sat down with the New York Times in Paris. He discussed his childhood in Burundi, the outbreak of the civil war and his escape to France, the beginning of his rapping career and his lucky encounter with French editor Catherine Nabokov, and the success of his autobiographical novel, Petit Pays (Small Country), which was translated in...

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Can Paris Become a Start-up Capital?

This is the wish of French president Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Yet, Forbes thinks that the French project is too ambitious. The French capital has many advantages, writes Peter Cohan, the author of the book Startup Cities, published last February. Paris is home to renowned engineering schools and opened the world’s largest tech campus, the Station F,...

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Liberty, Equality, Camembert!

Is this the end of French Camembert? Starting in 2021, the "Camembert de Normandie" Protected Designation of Origin label, which guarantees a locally-made, raw milk cheese, will become available to cheeses made using pasteurized milk. The decision has concerned and enraged local producers, who have called for a boycott of Camembert if the change takes effect. “Soon enough," writes the...

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The New Yorker Meets with François Hollande

For a minivan ride and a book-signing event, New Yorker writer Lauren Collins shadowed former French president François Hollande, whose four-hundred page account of his five years in office came out last April. The book, "between a self-help guide and a thriller," is the thirteenth-best-selling book on Amazon in France. Read more at The New Yorker.

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A Memorial for Guadeloupe Slaves Becomes a Flashpoint for France’s Colonial Legacy

In the Caribbean, the French island of Guadeloupe is celebrating this year the 170th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The former colony, however, is still struggling with unresolved social and economic grievances with France. A memorial for the slaves, inaugurated in 2015, has become a flashpoint for France's colonial legacy. Read more at The Atlantic.  

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Is France Doing Enough to Fight Anti-Semitism?

Last March, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was stabbed to death in Paris. This murder was the latest in a series of anti-Semite crimes that started a few years ago. In reaction, the Israeli Prime Minister urged French Jews to flee the country. These crimes, as heinous as they are, must be put into perspective, according to New York Times...

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The Unexpected Alliance Between Macron and Trump

When it came to foreign policy, Barack Obama often sided with Angela Merkel rather than François Hollande. Things have changed since the election of Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron. “Macron has established himself as the [American] president’s go-to leader in Europe,” writes Bloomberg. The two men have repeatedly clashed over climate change and international trade, but there seems to be...

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France Wants Become an Artificial Intelligence Leader

"I think artificial intelligence will disrupt all the different business models and it’s the next disruption to come,” said Emmanuel Macron to the American magazine Wired. “So I want to be part of it.” The French president has recently announced that France will spend €1.5 billion within the next five years to catch up with the United States and China...

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Netflix Movies Turned Down at Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival has changed its rules. This year, movies exclusively released on streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, or Amazon will be barred from the competition. Two Netflix movies entered the competition last year: The Meyerowitz Stories by Noah Baumbach and Okja by Bong Joon-ho. “When we selected these two films, I thought I could convince Netflix to release them in cinemas," explained Thierry Frémaux,...

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Are the French More Optimist than the Americans?

American journalist Pamela Druckerman, who has been living in Paris and writing about French parenting for 14 years, is noticing a trend: "France is starting to seem like an upbeat, can-do country, while Americans are less sure that everything will be O.K." "The French haven’t become magically cheerful," she writes. But since Emmanuel Macron was elected last June, "there’s a...

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Tahar Rahim, the “New Al Pacino” of French Cinema

Rolling Stone is in love with Tahar Rahim. The French actor, who plays the role of an FBI agent fighting terrorism alongside Jeff Daniels in the Hulu drama The Looming Tower, is "the show's big breakout star" and "your next Internet crush," writes the magazine. Read more at Rolling Stone.

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Zidane, a “Unifying Figure” in a Divided France

On March 6, the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club lost to Madrid (1 to 3). However, French supporters rejoiced. They celebrated the return of their favorite athlete, French soccer superstar and Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who has been living in Spain since 2000. An unknown player until the 1998 World Cup, where he scored two goals that ultimately allowed France...

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The Michelin Guide Has Left Women Out

Female chefs are underrepresented in the Michelin guide, writes the New York Times. This year, the famous red guide awarded new stars to 57 French restaurants, only two of which have female chefs. The newspaper observes that the Michelin guide has "collided with the #MeToo moment." The are only 16 female chefs among the 621 Michelin-starred restaurants in France, and...

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Marlène Schiappa, the Modern French Women
The New Yorker

The letter Catherine Deneuve cosigned last January criticizing the #MeToo movement is "dangerous," said Marlène Schiappa. The 35-year old French Secretary of State in charge of Equality between Women and Men is the antithesis of the actress. Marlène Schiappa, writes the New Yorker, represents the modern French woman. She is a mother (she has two young daughters), an ambitious entrepreneur...

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Bénédicte Pesle, Early Promoter of American Dance in France, Has Died
The New York Times

After discovering the work of choreographer Merce Cunnimghamm during a trip to New York in 1953, Bénédicte Pesle dedicated her life to promoting American stage artists in France. She was 90 when she passed away on January 17, 2018. She worked humbly backstage, stayed away from the spotlight, and considered herself a "secrétaire d’artistes," a secretary of artists, rather than...

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The World’s Best Soccer Players Live Outside Paris
ESPN

To scout new members, soccer clubs took to exploring the Ile-de-France région, the area surrounding Paris which has become the world's top talent pool for professional soccer players. The area alone has provided a third of the French national team and more talent than Asia, Africa and North America combined. On rudimentary sports complexes ringed by dingy apartment blocks, children...

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Should France Publish Anti-Semitic Pamphlets?
The Washington Post

The French publishing house Gallimard announced that in May it will release Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Ecrits Polémiques (Polemical Writings), a series of three anti-Semitic pamphlets written by the beloved French author between 1936 and 1941. The Washington Post is questioning the timeliness of this decision as well as how to put into context pamphlets written in support of German and Italian...

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The 2024 Olympics, a Godsend for the Paris Banlieues?
Citylab

Paris will host the 2024 summer Olympic Games. The head of the International Olympic Committee sees the event as "a win-win situation" and Emmanuel Macron has called it a "victory." But how will France benefit from hosting the Games? The 1900 Olympics resulted in the construction of several famous Parisian monuments such as the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais....

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Is the 2008 Crisis Responsible for the “French Tech” Boom?
Bloomberg

The development of France’s technological sector was certainly not sparked by the election of Emmanuel Macron. Long overshadowed by England and Germany, the emerging “French Tech” is now thought to have begun with the 2008 crisis and the burst of the dot-com bubble. Young French graduates are now spurning traditional industries and civil-service jobs in favor of innovation and start-up...