This year has seen quite a number of French literature books released. Majority of the books are reprints of old French literature. Many of the books reprinted and translated to reach a wider audience today, are in easier to read prints.  This ensures that French literature lives on forever and anyone from any part of the world can enjoy the books.

Below is a list of five of some latest releases.

1. Balcony In The Forest By Julien Gracq -November 21, 2017

Balcony in the Forest, 1958

Released on 21 November 2017, and first published in 1958, balcony in the forest is about lieutenant grange who lived in a bunker deep into the Ardennes forest with his men. Lieutenant grange defended the French-Belgian border against his own country Germany. In what the author says was an unreal, an unlikely and a distant war, Grange obviously found himself in trouble. Life in the forest is lonely and all Grange can do is observe as the times and seasons change. While still observing the happenings around him, he falls in love with a widow who makes life more interesting in the forest. The novel takes us to the battle between the Germans and the French.

Richard Howards did a good job translating this novel into English because it is otherwise very difficult to grasp and understand. All the same, it is a great piece of literature.

2. Incest ByChristine Angot- Date Of Release November 7 2017

INCEST by Christine Angot

Christine Angot is undoubtedly one of the most controversial writers in French contemporary literature. The novel incest is one of her most controversial books yet. Based on a taboo act few writers would delve into, the narrator in Christine’s novel recounts her encounters with an incestuous father leaving that left her traumatized. In the novel, she also tells of her relationship with a woman and she describes in detail how torrential the relationship was. She fell out from this relationship leading her to a path of self-psychoanalysis. Within herself, she fights many evils like homosexuality, incest, paranoia but confessing it all helps her move on. This daring but great taboo read is in English too thanks to the translation by Tess Lewis.

3.   The Lover, Wartime Notebooks, Practicalities By Marguerite Duras- Released In November 14, 2017

The Lover, Wartime Notebooks, Practicalities by Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras would be proud today to know that her novels receive immense appreciation all over the world. She died before her writings about the war made it to a publishing house despite being one of the greatest novelists and intellectuals after the war. In her book, Wartime Notebooks, Duras tells about her difficult childhood in Indochina and her desperation as she waited for her husband to return from confinement by the Nazi. The personal details about this part of her life make this bestseller an interesting book to read.

Dura also gave the world The Lover, which is one of the most popular of her contemporary set of books. The book, set in Indochina is the story of a young French adolescent girl having a steamy affair with a rich Chinese man. The story, based on Duras real life experiences with her Chinese lover is both interesting and evocative.

Practicalities another of the three contemporary classics has many small and deeply personal prose writings that Duras dictated as she was near death. She writes on several issues like sex, love, motherhood, alcohol, domesticity and a lot more. She adds humor and wit to her stories, which are relevant to date.

4. La Debacle – By Émile Zola

La Debacle by Émile Zola

Emile Zola takes the reader through the Franco-Prussian war during the commune of 1870 to 1871. It is captivating piece of literature with very imaginative and creative words that depict how dramatic the war was. It was a best seller when Zola was still alive during the time of contemporary literature. She gets a lot of praise for her in-depth attention and description of the events that made this part of history.

The novel further explains how the military brought an end led to second empire. The bravery of the ordinary soldiers comes out clearly in her writings depicting every suffering they went through amid situations they had very little control of.

In the novel, Zola uses fiction and facts about his life to deliver one of the finest novels about history ever written. Today la debacle is a reference used by many when writing about modern wars. The book has an English version translated by ElinorDorday.

5. La Petite Fadette By George Sand

La Petite Fadette by George Sand

La Petite Fadette is an 1848 written by George Sand with the setting of his French countryside as the place where the events narrated in the novel took place. A peasant of Berrichon narrates the story of two brothers who both fall in love with the mysterious Fadette the waif. The brothers who are identical twins named Sylvinet and Landry come from a family that is highly esteemed.

Fadette on the other hand is from a lowly esteemed family and her name suggested that she was a witch. Landry meets her first and falls madly in love with her. It is not long before Sylvinet falls in love with Fadette. Fadette continues to have a relationship with the twin brothers breaking all the norms and expectations of the small village. Theirs is a story of intense love, use of courage and the best strategies to wipe out any village prejudice and superstitions.

This novel set in a time of deep patriarchy tells of the need to gain equality both in sexuality and political at a time when it was impossible. In the nineteenth – century, France was mainly a patriarchal nation and any woman going against the norms was an outcast. George Sand’s novel is a gem when it comes to contributing to nineteenth – century literature studies. The book continues to attract many readers.

Many people read captivating books without thinking twice about what the names of the books mean or why they have the titles they have. Though most of the literary written books have self-explanatory names, some remain a mystery to many people. Titles are usually in reference to the main characters or a single character in the book, some may be in reference to a famous quote or a line from the book and still others may be a line picked up from an old classic. Shakespeare is a favorite for some authors looking to have a catchy title for their books.

Below are some of the titles of famous books with the sources and meaning of their titles.

 The Count Of Monte Christo By Alexander Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo

This book, based on revenge, is one of the most widely read books in the universe. Its plot made a great movie by the same name, which won many accolades. The epic tale of retribution and suffering of the main character was from a real life experience, which inspired the writing. Dumas wrongful imprisonment for a crime he did not commit gave birth to this popular tale, which first serialized in 1840.

The Stranger By Albert Camus  

The stranger by Albert Camus

In this book, Camus tries to explain what society does to a non-conformist. If one does not go by what society expects of them no matter how unfair to the person it is, then you become a stranger living with your own people. Meursault, the character in the book is a non-conformist and wants the society to judge him differently. Society however does not judge him by his crimes but by not showing any remorse during his mother’s funeral. The society does not forgive him for this and he chooses to leave. He feels like the outsider, the stranger in a society that does not give any value to humanity but to conformity and law.

Candide By Voltaire

Voltaire Portrait

Candide is the story of a bright young man who is calm, wide eyed and a bland gentleman living in Castle Westphalia. The satirical masterpiece depicts David as an interesting and cynical character who makes fun of optimism. He is very candid in everything that he says or writes. The philosophical pieces in this book are what make it even more interesting to read.

The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame By Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo in 1867

This extraordinary historical novel by one of the greatest writers in French history is a masterpiece. The book, set in medieval Paris, and based on the cathedral of Notre-Dame tells the drama of Quasimodo the hunchback and Esmeralda the gypsy dancer not forgetting the priest Claude Frollo. One of the great things about the book is how victor depicts or gives descriptive depictions of the city. Today when people read the hunchback of the Notre- Dame, they connect the characters and the sites mentioned to what the world is going through today.

The Three Musketeers By Alexander Dumas

The Three Musketeers

This is also one of the most widely read and celebrated historical romance book ever written. It is the story of three friends from the minds musketeers and one Gascon Gentleman D’Artagnan. The follow characters will make you laugh from the beginning to the end.  The book is very romantic and besides the musketeers and D’Artagnan, there is Milady who is poison to the gang. Her psychotic behavior all through the novel is both compelling and makes it even more worthwhile to read.

Phedre By Jean Racine

Jean Racine portrait

Phedre is a play that has seen several translations over the years and the main character acted out by excellent actors from all over the world. Phedre is the plays protagonist and is about a woman trying to control her desires. This proves difficult and the only way for Phedre to find help is by confessing her feelings.