Recently Translated French books

November 21st, 2019

Vernon Subutex 1, Virginie Despentes (translated by Frank Wynne)
From our bookseller Stéphanie: Road trip immobile au coeur d’une ville en mutation, Vernon Subutex, ancien disquaire punk rock, nous entraîne avec lui dans son errance parisienne, s’accrochant comme il peut à ce qu’il reste aujourd’hui du Paris des années 80-90. Virginie Despentes dresse avec minutie et relief le portrait d’une société en crise et d’une génération désenchantée en quête de sens. Un premier tome vibrant et acéré, où se succèdent une galerie de voix uniques, difficiles à oublier longtemps après que l’on a refermé le livre.

AnimaliaJean-Baptiste Del Amo (translated by Frank Wynne)
The small village of Puy-Larroque, southwest France, 1898: Éléonore is a child living with her father, a pig farmer whose terminal illness leaves him unable to work, and her God-fearing mother, who runs both farm and family with an iron hand. By the 1980s, Éléonore has herself aged into the role of matriarch, and the family is running a large industrial pig farm, where thousands of pigs churn daily through cycles of birth, growth, and death. Moments of sublime beauty and powerful emotion mix with thoughtless brutality waged against animals as Animalia traverses the 20th century to examine man’s quest to conquer nature, critique the legacy of modernity and the transmission of violence from one generation to the next, and question whether we can hold out hope for redemption in this brutal world.

Disturbance: Surviving Charlie HebdoPhilippe Lançon (translated by Steven Rendall)
Paris, January 7, 2015: Two terrorists who claim allegiance to ISIS attack the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The event causes untold pain to the victims and their families, prompts a global solidarity movement, and ignites a fierce debate over press freedoms and the role of satire today. Philippe Lançon, a journalist, author, and a weekly contributor to Charlie Hebdo is gravely wounded in the attack. This intense life experience upends his relationship to the world, to writing, to reading, to love and to friendship.