The French and Francophone authors coming to New York to take part in the Festival of New French Writing are among the best known writing in the French language today. They form no school, they subscribe to no single esthetic but they all share a deep commitment to literature itself and a profound engagement with the world in which they live.

Their concerns are not alien to the American writers who have agreed to enter into conversations with their French counterparts. They, too, come from multiple cultural and intellectual traditions and, like their transatlantic colleagues, they view the world with anxiety.

The conversations between French and American authors, assisted by eminent New York-based American and French critics and journalists aim to present a view of the state of French writing today as well as contrasts with fiction and non-fiction writing in the United States, and an outlook on the future of literature.


French AuthorsAmerican AuthorsModerators

stéphane audeguy | david b. | pascal bruckner | philippe claudel | laurence cossé | geneviève brisac |
atiq rahimi |

Stéphane Audeguy

stéphane audeguy

Novelist and essayist, Stéphane Audeguy, was born in Tours, France, in 1964. He studied French, British, and American literatures at the University of Paris and served as assistant professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from 1986 to 1987. Since 1999 he has taught art history and the history of cinema at a lycée just outside Paris. He won the Prix Maurice Genevoix from the Académie Française for his first novel La théorie des nuages, and the Prix Deux Magots for Fils unique.

Selected works
La théorie des nuages, Gallimard, 2005
(The Theory of Clouds, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007)
Fils Unique, Gallimard, 2006 (Only Son, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008).
Éloge de la douceur, Gallimard, Coll. Folio, 2007
Nous autres, Gallimard, 2009
In Memoriam, Le Promeneur, 2009

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Stéphane Audeguy

david b.

David B. (David Beauchard) is a graphic artist and writer, and co-founder of L’Association, a group of French cartoonists who joined together as publishers and became a major force in small-press comics. He began writing and illustrating stories in 1985 and his work appeared in numerous magazines, including Chic, Circus, Okapi, and À suivre.  After creating L’Association in 1990, he began specializing in short stories in his distinctive black-and-white style, and published various series in Lapin, the Association’s magazine. From 1996 to 2003, David B. created the acclaimed six volume autobiographical epic L’Ascension du Haut Mal (published in English as Epileptic), which has repeatedly been nominated for prizes at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. In 2002, volume 4 won the Angoulême Prize for Scenario. Other awards include the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist in 2005, the French Alph’ award for comics excellence in 2000, and he was cited as European Cartoonist of the Year by The Comics Journal in 1998.

Selected Works:
Le Cheval blême, L'Association, 1992
L'Ascension du Haut Mal tome 1-6, L'Association, 1996–2003
(Epileptic, Pantheon, 2005)
Babel tome 1 & 2, Coconino Press, 2004-2006
(Babel vol. 1 & 2, Fantagraphics Books, 2005-2006)
Les Complots nocturnes, Futuropolis, 2005
(Nocturnal Conspiracies: Nineteen Dreams, NBM, 2008)
Le Jardin armé et autres histoires, Futuropolis, 2006
Par les chemins noirs, Futuropolis, 2007
Journal d'Italie 1,Trieste-Bologne, Delcourt, 2010

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  Pascal Bruckner

pascal bruckner

A prolific writer, Pascal Bruckner belongs to that venerable lineage of French philosophers and essayists who, for centuries, have cast an ironic and always intelligent critical glance on the weaknesses and excesses of their society. His best-known works have been dynamically controversial and widely discussed, particularly Le Sanglot de l'homme blanc and La Tentation de l'innocence, for which he won the Prix Médicis de l'Essai in 1995. Bruckner has also written fiction, including Lunes de fiel (adapted for the screen by Roman Polanski) and Les Voleurs de beauté (winner of the Prix Renaudot), and has published books for children. He has taught in universities in France and the U.S. and contributes editorials to major newspapers in many countries.

Selected Works
Le nouveau désordre, Seuil, 1977
Le Sanglot de l'Homme blanc, Seuil, 1983
(The Tears of the White Man, Free Press, 1986)
Le divin enfant, Seuil, 1992 (The Divine Child, Little Brown & Co., 1994)
La Tentation de l'innocence, Grasset, 1995
(The Temptation of Innocence, Algora, 2000)
L’Euphorie perpétuelle: Essais sur le devoir de bonheur, Grasset, 2000
(Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy, forthcoming 2011)
La tyrannie de la pénitence, Grasset, 2006
(The Tyranny of Guilt, Princeton University Press, 2010)

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  Philippe Claudel

philippe claudel

Philippe Claudel wrote and directed the 2008 film I’ve Loved You So Long (Il y a longtemps que je t’aime). He is the author of Les Âmes grises, which won the Prix Renaudot and was shortlisted for the American Gumshoe Award. He is also the winner of the 2003 Prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle for Les petites mécaniques, and 2010 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for Brodeck. Claudel teaches at the University of Nancy and at the European Institute for Cinema and the Audiovisual.

Selected Works
Les petites mécaniques, Mercure de France, 2003
Les Âmes grises, Stock, 2003 (By a Slow River, Knopf, 2006)
Le Monde sans les enfants, Stock, 2006
Le Rapport de Brodeck, Stock, 2007 (Brodeck, Random House, 2009)
“Il y a longtemps que je t’aime”, 2008 (“I’ve Loved You So Long,” 2008)

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  Laurence Cossé

laurence cossé

Born in 1950 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Laurence Cossé is a critic, novelist, playwright and journalist. She has reported for France Culture and the newspaper Le Quotidien de Paris and has interviewed many cultural luminaries. Cossé is the author of the satirical thriller, The Corner of the Veil, and several historical novels including the bestselling La Femme du premier ministre. Among her numerous awards is the Grand Prix de la nouvelle de l’Académie Française for her collection of short stories, Vous n’écrivez plus?. A Novel Bookstore is her ninth novel. She lives in France.

Selected Works:
18h35 : Grand bonheur, Le Seuil, 1991
Le Coin du voile, Gallimard, 1996 (A Corner of the Veil, Scribner, 1999)
La Femme du premier ministre, Gallimard, 1998
Le Mobilier national, Gallimard, 2001
Le 31 du mois d'août, Gallimard, 2003
Vous n'écrivez plus ?, Gallimard, 2006
Au bon roman, Gallimard, 2009 (A Novel Bookstore, Europa Editions, 2010)

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  Geneviève Brisac

geneviève brisac

A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure, Geneviève Brisac started her career as a teacher before moving into editing, first with Gallimard Jeunesse, and now with L’École des loisirs, where she has been since 1989. In 1987, she published her first novel, Les Filles and has been writing ever since. Geneviève Brisac is the author of eleven novels for adults and around twenty for children. In 1996, she received the Prix Femina for Week-end de chasse à la mère, and in 2010, the Prix des éditeurs for Une année avec mon père. Since 2007, she has been involved with Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, a French NGO aimed at helping people in developing countries get access to books and learning.

Selected Works:
Les Filles, Gallimard, 1987
Petite, L'Olivier, 1994
Week-end de chasse à la mère, L'Olivier, 1996 (Losing Eugenio, M. Boyars, 1999)
Pour qui vous prenez-vous ?, L'Olivier, 2001
La Marche du Cavalier, L'Olivier, 2002
V.W. Le mélange des genres, L'Olivier, 2004
Une année avec mon père, L'Olivier, 2102

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  Atiq Rahimi

atiq rahimi

French-Afghan writer and filmmaker, Atiq Rahimi fled Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion and relocated to France. After studying at the Sorbonne, he joined a production company and made several documentaries for French television. He began writing in the late 1990s, with his first novel, Earth and Ashes, written in Persian, becoming an instant bestseller in Europe and South America. The film version of Rahimi’s book has won 25 awards, including the Prix du Regard vers l'Avenir at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. In 2008, Rahimi won the Prix Goncourt for Syngué Sabour (translated into English as The Patience Stone), his fourth book but first written in French. Rahimi returned to his native Afghanistan in 2002. As Senior Creative Advisor for that nation’s largest media group, Moby Group, he developed programs and genres for its various media outlets, and helped develop and train a new generation of Afghan filmmakers and directors. Rahimi is currently in pre-production of the film version of Syngué Sabour, which he will direct from his screenplay.

Selected Works
Written in French:
Syngué Sabour. Pierre de patience, P.O.L., 2008
(The Patience Stone, Other Press, 2010)
Written in Persian, French translations:
Terre et cendres (Khâkestar-o-khâk), P.O.L., 2000
(Earth and Ashes, Vintage, 2003)
Les mille maisons du rêve et de la terreur, P.O.L., 2002
(A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear, Vintage, 2007)
Le Retour imaginaire, P.O.L., 2005

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