Autumn in France

07Sep07

To be seasonally up to date for a change, this time of year in France means only one thing: c’est la Rentrée!

I refer to la Rentrée littéraire, the annual binge of new title publishing that takes place between the end of August and the end of November. This year it’s bigger than ever, with no less than 727 titles being released (compared with 488 in 1998). The big publishing houses are of course rolling out their big guns – Darrieussecq, Nothomb, Sollers, Modiano, etc. – but what interests me more is that this year there are more titles than ever from smaller publishers, the kind of thing that we booksellers tend to get excited about.

At Lechoixdeslibraires.com, you can see which titles French booksellers are looking forward to.

Lekti-ecriture takes advantage of what it calls “these last few moments of (relative) calm” to bring to our attention three books published by independent publishers:Pour violon seul, by Aldo Zargani, L’ami Butler by Jérôme Lafargue, and Des os dans le désert, by Sergio González – the latter, a key source for Roberto Bolaño’s magnum opus 2666 – is an acccount by a Mexican journalist of the more than 300 ritual killings of women that took place in and around the city of Ciudad Juárez between 1993 and 1997. González, apparently, appears as a character in the fourth part of 2666, ‘The part of the crimes’ – see here for an interesting comparison of the two books. [from the e-zine e-limbo]

Le syndrome d’Ulysse, by Colombian author Santiago Gamboa is getting buzz – [LELITTERAIRE.COM]

Just out is Lettre à Jimmy, last year’s Renaudot Prize-winner Alain Mabanckou’s tribute to James Baldwin. [Fayard]

Notes:

  • I found an interesting post about Gamboa, in English, at a blog called Venepoetics, which makes ‘The Ulysses Syndrome’ sound like a novel very much worth reading: “Gamboa’s book certainly carries the weight Paris has imposed on countless generations of Latin American artists and intellectuals, but he chooses instead to narrate a much humbler series of interconnected individual stories, none of them glamorous or legendary.”
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