Category French

Halcyon Days: Adrien Goetz’s “Villa of Delirium,” translated from French by Natasha Lehrer

The novel falls within the greater readiness in French culture to reckon with the nation’s anti-Semitic past than its colonialism.

A Life of Ruptures: Frédéric Pajak’s “Uncertain Manifesto,” Translated from French by Donald Nicholson-Smith

A novel that traverses generic as well as geographic and historical boundaries, Uncertain Manifesto switches, from chapter to chapter, between autobiography, essay, illustrated novel, history, literary analysis and fable-like fiction.

On Sex and Death: Vicente Huidobro’s “Skyquake: Tremor of Heaven,” co-translated from Spanish by Ignacio Infante and Michael Leong

Composed as twin originals in Spanish and French between 1928 and 1931, this roving long prose poem witnesses the perpetual, agonized yearning of separated lovers seeking one another across eternity and infinity, where they collide—gloriously—on occasion, before scattering through the universe once again.

In Search of the Weeping Woman: Brigitte Benkemoun’s “Finding Dora Maar,” Translated from French by Jody Gladding

By Mark Polizzotti Engaging with the life of a person you’ve never met can be an odd and disorienting business, and few know this better than biographers. What would push an otherwise sane adult to devote months, years, even decades to ferreting out the minutiae of someone else’s existence? And what is the strange alchemy […]

“Gaza is Mayotte, Mayotte is France”: Natacha Appanah’s “Tropic of Violence” translated from French by Geoffrey Strachan

By Nathan Dize Gaza is a name capable of conjuring many ideas: statelessness, precarity, violence, tenuous and embargoed freedom, occupation, colonialism, and the list goes on. The name has also become synonymous with contested sovereignty in an era of postcolonial globalization, where, despite their supposed ephemerality, words like “settlements” and “camps” are imbued with a […]

A Most Intimate Fantasy: Marion Fayolle’s “The Tenderness of Stones,” Translated from French by Geoffrey Brock

By Neal Baker Across several graphic novels and two collections of wordless comics, Marion Fayolle has demonstrated her surreal imagination and her inclination toward visual comedy and metaphor. In The Tenderness of Stones, translated in English by Geoffrey Brock, she brings her practice to the personal. Written during and about the decline of her father’s […]

Envoicing the Unheard: “Faces on the Tip of My Tongue” by Emmanuelle Pagano, Translated from French by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins  

By Nataliya Deleva Faces on the Tip of My Tongue is a book difficult to describe in one sentence. It caught my attention at its launch event in London when my thoughts dissolved into a conversation with the co-translators Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins. It was presented as a book about people on the fringe […]

Not Playing Games: Chloé Delaume’s “Not A Clue,” Translated from French by Dawn M. Cornelio

Content Warning: Ableism By Julia Peterson When I decided to read Not A Clue, I was hopeful – perhaps naïvely – that it would offer a new take on a frustrating and overdone premise. The story is set in a psychiatric hospital in Paris, where a doctor has been murdered and six patients are suspected […]

Forced Exile: Shenaz Patel’s “Silence of the Chagos,” translated from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman

By Preea Leelah Every day, Charlesia walks to the ocean and fixedly gazes in the direction of her homeland, the island of Diego Garcia, the place she may never see again.  Shenaz Patel’s novel Silence of the Chagos is the haunting, still unfolding story of the people of Diego Garcia, one of the 56 islands that form the Chagos Archipelago, situated in the Indian […]

Edge to Edge: Laura Marris In Conversation With John Taylor and Pierre Chappuis

By Laura Marris Some of us, if we are lucky enough, have witnessed it—the moment when a passing line of clouds tangles with the trees of a ridge, blurring the distinctions between branches and vapor, between landscape and sky. This thoughtful, sensitive volume offers the poetic equivalent of that process, a brush between two imaginative […]