#RivetingReviews – French Book Week, July 2020. Introduction by West Camel

Welcome to July’s #RivetingReviews, part of the European Literature Network’s French Book Week, organised in partnership with Pro Helvetia. 

We have a feast of reviews of French-language writing to offer you this month, headed by a deeply personal, deeply thoughtful feature review by BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt, who considers French-Lebanese novelist and thinker, Amin Maalouf’s book-length essay, Adrift: How Our World Lost Its Way.  

Our crime-reviewer nonpareil, Barry Forshaw offers his views on a trio of classic French crime novelists – Vargas, Lemaitre, and the only-recently-published-in-English Sébastien Japrisot. 

The final part of the controversial Vernon Subutex trilogy thrills Paul Burke, while Max Easterman is once again entranced by Antoine Laurain writing, and Jennifer Sarha finds her reading habits reflected in Julia Kerninon’s autofiction, and Alyson Coombes champions a coming-of-age novel by Nina Bouraoui.

Ulysse Roche joins us as a reviewer for the first time, offering us her take on a book surrounded by controversy: Agota Kristof ‘s The Notebook. And another new reviewer, Claire Storey, rounds up recent French children’s books in translation.

We have Swiss French too: Anna Blasiak looks at a collection by one of Switzerland’s foremost contemporary poets, Philippe Jaccottet, and Aneesa Higgins reviews a book yet to find its way into English: Grand National by Roland Buti. 

We have extra treats for you too, in the form an interview with the doyenne of French letters, Maryse Condé, reproduced by kind permission of the Institut Français, and with some Riveting Reads from French writer Jean-Baptise Andrea and his translator, and from our regular reviewer, Ewa Sherman. 

Enjoy these French delights, and stay with www.eurolitnetwork.com for the rest of this week of French literary events. 

We’re taking a break in August, but we’ll be back in September with content from our Romanian Riveter

Bonnes vacances â tous! 

—West Camel

Category: French Book WeekJuly 2020 – French Book Week

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