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The very best translations from the French !


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Please contact us at bookoffice@frenchculture.org for more info.

A program of FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, French Voices is grateful for the support of the Florence Gould Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

 

 

Alain Badiou
[LE SEMINAIRE : LACAN - L’ANTIPHILOSOPHIE 3, 1994-1995]
Susan Spitzer, Tr., Columbia University Press, forthcoming in 2017
(Le Séminaire : Lacan l’antiphilosophie 3, 1994-1995, Fayard, 2013)

Since 1983, Alain Badiou has been giving a series of open seminars, developing his specific conception of antiphilosophy through a historical narrative running from ancient Greece to the postmodern Western world. After Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, the third seminar takes on Jacques Lacan.

“In a witty role reversal, Badiou slips into the costume of the analyst to deconstruct the “anti-philosophical device”conceived by Lacan.”
—Philosophie Magazine

 

2016
French
Voices
Award

François Bon
DAEWOO
Youna Kwak, Tr., Diálogos Books, forthcoming in 2019
(Daewoo, Fayard, 2004)

Daewoo is an evocative and powerful novel based on documentary research and interviews with former employees of the Korean corporation, Daewoo. It focuses on the stories of four women and on the haunting absence of a fifth one, Sylvia, who committed suicide after the plant closed.

“The reader is moved and devastated by this exploration of those who have fought to the point of losing connection with life, or even life itself, for one of them.”
—Le Matricule des anges

 

Anouck Durand
ETERNAL FRIENDSHIP
Elizabeth Zuba, Tr., Siglio Press, forthcoming in 2017
(Amitié Éternelle, Éditions Xavier Barral, 2014)

In an exquisite collage narrative drawn from photographic archives, personal letters, propaganda posters and political speeches, artist and writer Anouck Durand tells the true story of two photographers whose friendship was forged in the crucible of war between Albania and China.

“As an example of the inexorable sweep of history, the images are illuminating: what once was deadly serious and unquestioned propaganda now seems quaint and almost unbelievable.”
—The Guardian

 

Dominique Kalifa
[LES BAS-FONDS. HISTOIRE D’UN IMAGINAIRE]
Robin Holding, Tr., seeking an American publisher
(Les Bas-fonds. Histoire d’un imaginaire, Seuil, 2013)

This groundbreaking essay addresses the concept of the “underworld” in 19th and 20th century France. Beggars, prostitutes, criminals, convicts, constitute the gritty underworld of society. Dominique Kalifa shows through literature, journalism and cinema, how a fantasy was constructed.

“Dominique Kalifa does not merely retrace the history of a literary theme. He shows what this fantasy reveals about how our societies persist in thinking commonly on misery and evil.”
—Le Nouvel Observateur

 

Emmanuelle Loyer
[LÉVI-STRAUSS]
Susan Spitzer, Tr., Polity Press, forthcoming in 2018
(Lévi-Strauss, Flammarion, 2015)

In this widely acclaimed biography, written in collaboration with LéviStrauss’s widow, the eminent historian Emmanuelle Loyer presents a comprehensive portrayal of the anthropologist.

“Emmanuelle Loyer authors the first major biography of the anthropologist. A portrait of an intellectual who casted a subversive look on our time.”
—L’Express

 

Brice Matthieussent
[LA VENGEANCE DU TRADUCTEUR]
Emma Ramadan, Tr., Deep Vellum, forthcoming in 2018
(La vengeance du traducteur, P.O.L, 2006)

A mischievous translator erases the text he is supposed to be translating, and instead multiplies infuriated footnotes, expressing his disgust for the novel he has to work on, as well as his own dreams and reflections. However, the characters of the novel insert themselves back into the book. In this extremely witty novel within a novel, Matthieussent attempts to analyze the relationship between an author and his translator.

“We are at the heart of Literature, with its capacity to make the real vibrate, to reach it using words.” —Le Monde

 

Pierre Senges
[ACHAB (SÉQUELLES)]
Jacob Siefring, Tr., Contra Mundum Press, forthcoming in 2017
(Achab (séquelles), Verticales, 2015)

Achab (séquelles) follows the fictitious adventures of Captain Ahab before and after his fight with the great whale, first as a 17-years-old young man sailing to London in the hope of performing Shakespeare, then, after surviving his last encounter with Moby Dick, as a retired fisherman trying to sell his story to Broadway and Hollywood producers.

“The strange but audacious follow up to Melville dives into the making of our modernity and gives place to a geography to which the inventiveness of tone, the perpetual gaps, and the power of metamorphosis stun the reader.”
—Marianne

 

Marie-Hélène Lafon
[JOSEPH]
Laurie Postlewate, Tr., seeking an American publisher
(Joseph, Buchet-Chastel, 2014)

Joseph is a sixty year old farmer in Cantal, southern France. He knows all the farms of the region and their stories. He is soft, silent and lonely. He once loved Sylvie, thirty years ago. Joseph is a superb chronicle of the inexorable disappearance of a generation in rural France, as well as a vibrant homage to Flaubert.

“The writing of the novelist is like the world she describes, plain, noble and honorable, irrigated by the power of the earth.”
—Le Figaro

 

Catherine Chalier
READING THE TORAH
Michael B. Smith, Tr., Duquesne University Press, forthcoming in 2017
(Lire La Torah, Seuil, 2014)

In Reading the Torah, philosopher and Judaic studies scholar Catherine Chalier explains how a spiritual approach—in this case according to the Jewish tradition — leads to an overall understanding of the Torah. Chalier argues that serious study of the sacred text requires both, the knowledge of the methods used throughout history to read the Torah, and the reader’s commitment to a personal relationship with the text.

“A luminous book to understand how a spiritual reading - but not disembodied - of the “Holy Books” is arguably the best antidote for the poison of fundamentalism.”
—La Procure

 

Frédéric Martel
[GLOBAL GAY, COMMENT LA RÉVOLUTION GAY CHANGE LE MONDE]
Patsy Baudoin, Tr., MIT Press, forthcoming in 2018
(Global Gay, Comment la révolution gay change le monde, Flammarion, 2013)

Homosexuals can marry in Johannesburg and Mexico, but not in Chicago or Berlin. In Iran, they risk being hung while transsexuals are legally operated. For five years, Frédéric Martel conducted an unprecedented investigation in forty-five countries. Full of colorful portraits, the book relates the modern battle for Human rights.

“Global Gay, allows the reader to realize how necessary the fight against sexual discriminations is.”
—Le Monde

 

Michaël Ferrier
[MÉMOIRES D’OUTRE-MER]
Martin Munro, Tr., seeking an American publisher
(Mémoires d’outre-mer, Gallimard, 2015)

Following in his Mauritian grandfather’s footsteps across the Indian Ocean, the narrator rediscovers a little-known part of history, when a colonized Madagascar was sought by the Nazis as a location to expulse European Jews. This timely novel revisits the history of French identity, reflecting on the narrator’s own remarkable, unpredictable journey of personal and familial rediscovery.

“Mémoires d’outre-mer, a tale of adventures in Madagascar, shows how a familial investigation can open to much wider seas.”
—Libération

 

 

 


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