En tête-à-tête with French Lit

Discover En tête-à-tête with French Litor, our virtual French Cornerwhere you will find interviews with French-speaking authors hosted at the Co-op as a part of En tête-à-tête serieslaunched in partnership with the University of Chicago Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago. You'll also encounter thematic selections and recommendations for foreign books in translation as well as hand-picked selections of untranslated books from our staff.

April 17th, 2019

Éric Vuillard, Leïla Slimani, and Gaël Faye, three of this year's nominees for the Albertine Prize, which 'aims to highlight five new works by authors from the many countries where French is spoken,' recently stopped by the Co-op late last year to talk about their honored work and that of others on our blog. Browse the Co-op's display of Awards-finalists in store and online, and vote on Albertine website before April 30th.

Further reading:

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February 25th, 2019

In advance of his conversation with Adèle author Leila Slimani, Moroccan Francophone literary scholar Khalid Lyamlahy shared an expansive list of impactful contemporary Maghrebi literature—in poetry and prose—with the Co-op. Explore the range of titles below, and join us Tuesday, 2/26, 6pm at the Co-op for this installment of ...

January 28th, 2019

Yvan Alagbé browsed the shelves of our French Corner before the event for his new book, Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures.

Yvan recommends reading—or re-reading, in his case—Gargantua by François Rabelais, and delighting into the unparalleled language, humor, and intelligence of this unique Renaissance humanist. Praising the pleasure of re-discovering great lit, Yvan picked up Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro Black and Other Solar Myths by John Corbett—another unique character, whose visual work and music Yvan recently re-visited.

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December 24th, 2018

All That Is Evident Is Suspect is the first collection in English to offer a life-size picture of the ouvroir de littérature potentielle in its historical and contemporary incarnations, and the first in any language to represent each of its (as of this printing) forty-one members. Combining fiction, poetry, essays and lectures, and never-published internal correspondence—along with the acrobatically constrained writing and complexly structured narratives that have become synonymous with oulipian practice—this volume shows a unique group of thinkers and artists at work and at play, meditating on and subverting the facts of life, love, and the group itself. It offers an unprecedentedly intimate and comprehensive glimpse at the breadth and diversity of...

December 19th, 2018

"Et parfois l'on se retrouve dans les pages des livres." ("And sometimes one ends up in the pages of books.") Should you purchase two Éditions Allia titles—after browsing our French Corner and Shared Perspectives end-cap—you will receive a beautiful illustrated Allia notebook—speckled with quotes from Lichtenberg, Weil, Scutenaire, and more—for FREE. À Tout de suite...

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December 11th, 2018

The winner of 2017 Goncourt Prize and Co-op member Éric Vuillard browsed through our shelves and shared his thoughts on what makes literature beyond the fiction/non-fiction distinction. In this video, Éric talks about two books – Physiology of the Employee by Honoré de Balzac and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin – to exemplify what makes great literature.

"Contrary to popular belief, literature is not about imagination but rather about how we relate to reality", says Vuillard. 

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November 21st, 2018
 Editions Allia and Wakefield Press are two independent publishers located in France and USA, respectively, bringing to light underrepresented authors and unveiling obscure, provocative, and avant-garde texts untranslated or unpublished until now.

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October 31st, 2018

 

After a stellar reading and discussion of Small Country at 57th Street Books, Gaël told us a little bit about his favorite writer, Rene Depestre, and his novel Hadriana in All My Dreams.

Depestre's writing is infused with poetry, seamlessly moving from texts about revolt to texts about love and eroticism, all in a baroque language that flirts with the supernatural. Depestre is a rare author whose writing conveys a wide range of emotions, and Gaël warmly invites us to delve into his work.

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October 23rd, 2018

 

Just a few minutes before her reading at the Co-op, Léonora Miano browsed through the shelves of our French Corner and picked up a book to share with us. She recommends the play Bajazet by Jean Racine, one of the greatest French dramatist of the 17th century, whose tragedies are written in a unique language, delicately woven in alexandrine.

You can enjoy the music of Racine’s language even if you don't speak French. Léonora recommends the following audio excerpt from the play -- ...