The second annual Albertine Prize, a reader’s choice award for best French fiction, is calling all fiction enthusiasts to vote in support of their favorite work of contemporary French fiction in English translation before May 1!
Showcasing the diversity and inventiveness of contemporary French-language writing, the five books nominated this year map a literary journey that encompasses a Congolese orphanage in the 1970s (Black Moses, Alain Mabanckou); a young man’s sexual awakening in a French factory town (The End of Eddy, Édouard Louis); artistic rapture in the Middle East (Compass, Mathias Énard); and interior explorations of love (Not One Day, Anne Garréta) and violation (Incest, Christine Angot).
Learn more and vote for your favorite book here!
This year’s finalists and their works are:
Incest by Christine Angot, Tr. Tess Lewis
Amid the fallout of a torrential relationship with another woman, the narrator embarks on a journey of self-analysis, giving the reader insight into her tangled experiences with desire, paranoia, and incest as she discovers the trauma behind her pain. With the intimacy offered by a confession, Angot’s novel audaciously confronts readers with one of society's greatest taboos.
Compass by Mathias Énard, Tr. Charlotte Mandell
In Vienna, the musicologist Franz Ritter spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, going back and forth between his love for the Middle East and his elusive partner, Sarah. With exhilarating prose and sweeping erudition, Énard pulls astonishing elements from disparate sources—nineteenth-century composers and esoteric orientalists, Balzac and Agatha Christie—and binds them together in a most magical way.
Not One Day by Anne Garréta, Tr. Emma Ramadan
Not One Day, winner of the Prix Médicis, begins with the maxim, "Not one day without a woman." What follows is an intimate, erotic, and sometimes bitter recounting of loves and lovers past, breathtakingly written, exploring the interplay between memory, fantasy, and desire. Garréta wrote the novel under strict constraints, producing one chapter per day.
The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis, Tr. Michael Lucey
Growing up in a poor village in northern France, Eddy Bellgueule wanted only to be a man in the eyes of his family and neighbors. But from childhood, he was different – "girlish," intellectually precocious, and attracted to other men. The End of Eddy captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town, painting a sensitive, universal portrait of boyhood and sexual awakening based on the author's own undisguised experience.
Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou, Tr. Helen Stevenson
A rollicking new novel described as “Oliver Twist in 1970s Africa” Black Moses is a vital new extension of Mabanckou’s cycle of Pointe-Noire novels that stand out as one of the grandest, funniest, fictional projects of our time.