A Selection of 9 Books To Celebrate French Language Authors
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There has been much talk in recent years about how French language authors from countries other than France have been revitalizing French literature; many of these authors have been winning prestigious French literary awards, such as the Franco-Moroccan writer Leïla Slimani who won the 2016 Goncourt Prize. Of course French language authors have always been published in France, but now more than ever, they are recognized as an essential part of the contemporary French literary canon.
France is the guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. The country made the conscious political decision to include numerous well-known authors who write in French and are published in France, but are not necessarily French. As French President Emmanuel Macron said in his opening speech at the Fair, “French belongs to those who have chosen to speak it.”
Just to name a few, authors in the official French delegation to the Fair include the Algerian Kamel Daoud, Alain Mabanckou, born in the Republic of Congo, Lebanese cartoon artist Zeina Abirached, and Atiq Rahimi, an Afghani-born filmmaker and writer.
Salman Rushdie once said that English has become an Indian language, and much in the same way, French has become a North African language, or a sub-Saharan African language.
Following is a reading list of books by French language authors born in countries other than France.