A SPECTATOR BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022
‘Beautiful and deep … a sumptuous treat for any book lover’ The Independent
‘There is so much to discover in these stories – both history and food for short story lovers everywhere’ Irish Times
A major new celebration of the French short story across the twentieth century
The short story has a rich tradition in French literature. This feast of an anthology celebrates its most famous practitioners, as well as newly translated writers ready for rediscovery. Here are fables, puzzles, fairy tales, war stories and family histories, testing and expanding the boundaries of the form. They are stories about the self and the other, the centre and the periphery, experimental and existential, real and surreal.
The second volume takes the reader through the tumultuous twentieth century in the company of writers including Simone de Beauvoir and Maryse CondÃ©, Patrick Modiano and Virginie Despentes, covering world wars, revolutions, and the horrors of the motorway service station. Along the way we meet electronic brains, she-wolves, a sadistic Cinderella, ancestors, infidels, dissatisfied housewives and lonely ambassadors, all clamouring to be heard. Funny, devastating and fresh at every turn, this is the place to start for lovers of French literature, new and old.
Edited and with an introduction by Patrick McGuinness, academic, writer and translator.