What are the Biggest Obstacles to Translation?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s editorial Vanina Marsot writes about discovering that her novel about a translator is itself untranslatable — particularly into the very language it is about, French. Translation is tricky, particularly with books that are written in a distinct dialect. I’ve been told one of the joys of reading Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano novels is the Sicilian …

Round Two of French Literary Plagiarism Clash

In What's the Buzz by Edward Nawotka

By Mark Garcia-Prats Ding! Ding! Round two of the fiery plagiarism battle between French authors Camille Laurens and Marie Darrieussecq is taking place this month, as each author publishes a book in reaction to the dispute… Two years ago, the French literary world was captivated when Laurens accused Darrieussecq of “psychological plagiarism” in her novel Tom est mort (Tom is Dead). …

Publishing Expats: Working in France, Germany, Estonia and Ireland

In Europe by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary Some do it for love. Others for adventure. Many just want a simple change of pace. Moving abroad has its clear advantages and can be rife with challenges, but in the past decade, a number of Americans in publishing have been unable to resist the siren song of the expat lifestyle and have moved to Europe — …

A “Millionaire’s Christmas” in France

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka France’s L’express newspaper rounds up 2009 sales for a variety of titles and dubs the holiday season in France the “Millionaire’s Christmas.” Dan Brown topped the list, moving 565,000 copies of The Lost Symbol. He was followed by Marie Ndiaye’s Trois femmes puissantes, which sold 450,000 copies and Anna Gavalda’s L’Echappée belle (Le Dilettante), which sold 350,000 …

Google Forced to Pay €300,000 Fine to French Pubs

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary As reported by the Associated Press (via the LA Times), a Paris court has ruled against Google in a copyright infringement case brought by French publisher La Martinière on behalf of itself and the French Publishers Association (FPA), representing 400 publishing companies. Google was ordered to pay €300,000 in damages to La Martinière for making excerpts of …

Why Smart Publishers Care About Tech Conferences

In Europe by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson PARIS: Last week’s LeWeb, the largest technology conference in Europe, attracted nearly nearly 2,400 attendees from 50 countries. Started in 2005 by Loic Le Meur (founder and CEO of Seesmic) and his wife Geraldine, it has become perhaps the premier Internet related conference in Europe and a key venue for the launch of new products and initiatives …

French Literary Agents Stage a Quiet Revolution

In Growth Markets by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije PARIS:  Until very recently, literary agents have been viewed in France with suspicion and the very topic seen as taboo. Traditionally, authors would submit and sell books directly to publishers. Agents were viewed as mere interlopers, interfering with a privileged relationship between author and publisher and introducing a mercenary, Anglo-Saxon element into the closed publishing circuit. But …

Are French Authors Better Off With or Without Agents?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s feature story about the increasing influence of literary agents in French publishing, author Jonathan Littell is quoted as saying that, as an American (albeit one writing in French), getting an agent was second nature to him. “In the Anglo-Saxon literary world if you want to publish a book, you look for an agent first,” he …

The Literary Life of the French Foreign Legion

In Europe by Guest Contributor

By Robert Girardi I was drawn to the French Foreign Legion—the subject of my new novel, Gorgeous East—for a variety of reasons. Chief among them has to do with a foolish weakness for old things: old books full of dust, old cars barely running, old chairs that you can barely sit in, old apartment buildings (hopefully without roaches) and most …

Bonus Material: Join the French Foreign Legion, Oui or Non?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka As discussed in our lead story today, one of the benefits—perhaps the main benefit—of joining the French Foreign Legion is the privilege of l’anonymat. It allows you to enlist under a fake name and, after five years of service, retire with a new identity and French citizenship, thus totally erasing your past. What’s interesting to note is …