Books are a wonderful way for Francophiles around the world to stay connected with France. However, perhaps some might be looking for a window into contemporary French society rather than the views of the 19th-century presented by the likes of Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and Emile Zola. From contemporary literary greats to critically acclaimed newcomers, here is a selection of recently released books by French authors, all translated into English.
After the sweeping international success of her “The Perfect Nanny,” winner of the 2016 Goncourt prize, Leïla Slimani is back with her third novel. In “Adele,” the Franco-Moroccan writer unravels the chilling tale of a Paris-based journalist whose life is overtaken by obsession.
A household name in France, Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel takes a harsh look at 21st-century society, drug addiction, and globalization. The story takes place between Paris and Normandy, where a disillusioned civil servant attempts to start anew only to find that rural France is disintegrating due to big business and European agricultural policies.
Known for her strong female protagonists, in her latest novel, Goncourt Prize laureate and Booker Prize nominee Marie NDiaye takes readers into the world of gastronomy through the eyes of a female chef, who battles to make a name for herself in an industry heavily dominated by men.
Winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, Patrick Modiano presents a fascinating reflection on the ways family history influences identity, as told through a series of vignettes taking place in Nazi-occupied Paris and its aftermath.
Following the success of her international best-seller, “Based On a True Story,” the award-winning novelist’s latest release weaves a thrilling narrative with four stories of secrets, obsessions, and loyalties.
Critically acclaimed novelist Philippe Besson returns to his roots in rural France in this novel about a love affair between two 17-year-old boys in the 80s. Seen by many as semi-autobiographical, the moving story was translated into English by actress Molly Ringwald, who played her share of troubled youths in cult 1980s movies like “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club.”
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