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The Albertine Prize 2018 Shortlist

Meet Albertine, a very special bookshop.

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Albertine is a project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., and you can find it in the Cultural Services’ HQ: the Gilded-Age Payne Whitney mansion on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Devoted to books in French and English, Albertine offers more than 14,000 contemporary and classic titles from 30 French-speaking countries.

For the second year running, Albertine has published a shortlist of the best French-language fiction newly available in English, and is asking readers to pick a winner. You can vote for your favorite (or favorites) online at Albertine.com from December 6, 2017 through May 1, 2018. A $10,000 prize will be split between the author and translator of the winning title.

Here on Bookwitty, we’ll be reading the five shortlisted picks and sharing our thoughts with you—we hope you’ll join the conversation. We’ll also be interviewing of the translators, to get their unique takes on the books, and insights into the act of translating them.

Here are the shortlisted titles, all available on Bookwitty with free international shipping.

Incest

Translated from the French by Tess Levis.

Incest relates the violent relationship Christine Angot had with her father and audaciously confronts its readers with one of our greatest taboos. Angot's writing goes fast, strong and far. It disrupts forms and framework, as well as mainstream literary codes. So much so that her reader is left alone with one disturbing – yet essential – question: what's the relationship of an author with reality?

Compass

Translated from the French by Charlotte Mendell. 

This dazzling and intricate novel portrays the meandering reflections of a Viennese musicologist over the course of a sleepless night. His journeys to Istanbul, Damascus and Aleppo and his great and unrequited love for a brilliant French scholar weave together into a beguiling tapestry. A deeply rewarding read that offers a new perspective on an essential issue of our time: the relationship between the East and the West.

Compass was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 2015.

Not One Day

Translated from the French by Emma Ramadan. 

Anne Garréta’s stunning prose brings to life the mind of a writer, mired in a personal project where she intends to deliberate on past infatuations. A myriad of love interests, crushes, and secret admirers fill the pages as we delve into the writer’s universe of emotional attachments, artistic ambitions, and reflections on life. 

Not One Day was awarded the Prix Médicis in 2002.

The End of Eddy

Translated from the French by Michael Lucey. 

Édouard Louis' sharp, precise, and concise narrative lets the reader into a world that is barely explored in contemporary French fiction: the disenfranchised working class. The End of Eddy is an unflinching account of growing up gay in a region where 80% of the population is unemployed; and where reading a book in public is perceived as an act of aggressive rebellion that results in mockery and rejection.

Black Moses

Translated from the French by Helen Stevenson. 

Black Moses is the picaresque and wildly entertaining story of a boy in the Congo who escapes a terrifying orphanage and ends up being raised by a group of thieves in Pointe-Noire in the 1970s and 1980s. A rollicking and charming novel that has been described as being like Oliver Twist in 1970s Congo-Brazzaville.

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