A Movable Literary Feast | Albertine Prize Short List Announced

On December 6, 2017, at the historic Payne Whitney mansion on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, designed by renowned architect Stanford White and now home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the French-language bookstore Albertine, book lovers and Francophiles gathered to celebrate the announcement of the short list for the 2018 Albertine Prize. First launched in 2017 by the bookstore and copresented by Van Cleef & Arpels and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the $10,000 prize is a reader’s choice award for the best Francophone fiction translated into English and published in the United States over the past year.

Actor reading excerpt from Anne Garréta’s Not One Day

The evening was marked by guests traveling from room to room listening to actors read excerpts from the short-listed books. The five nominated titles are Matthias Enard’s Compass, translated by Charlotte Mandell (New Directions); Anne Garréta’s Not One Day, translated by Emma Ramadan (Deep Vellum); Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy, translated by Michael Lucey (FSG); Alain Mabankou’s  Black Moses, translated by Helen Stevenson (New Press); and Christine Argot’s Incest, translated by Tess Lewis (Archipelago).

Readers have until May 1, 2018, to vote for their favorite book. This year the award will be split between the author and translator, with the winners being announced at a ceremony in New York City on June 6, 2018.

If you are considering establishing a fiction-in-translation reading group at your library, these five titles would make an excellent start. After attending all the readings, I was particularly impressed by Louis’s semiautobiographical novel about growing up gay in a gritty industrial town in northern France and Congolese author Mabankou’s picaresque tale of an orphan raised by thieves. Shades of Oliver Twist, anyone?





Wilda Williams About Wilda Williams

Wilda "Willy" Williams (wwilliams@mediasourceinc.com) is LJ's Fiction Editor. She specializes in popular fiction and edits the Mystery, Science Fiction, Christian Fiction, and Word on Street Lit columns.

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