Friday, April 5, 2019

ALBERTINE PRIZE 2019 Shortlist


The Albertine Prize aims to introduce American readers to contemporary French literature in translation. This year, the five selected titles include translated books by French and francophone authors from Rwanda, Morocco, Mauritius, and Iran, reminding us that languages and literature transcend borders. All of the books are works of French fiction translated into English in 2018.

The Albertine Prize is presented by Van Cleef & Arpels and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The program is made possible with support from Air France. Additional support is provided by Pommery and La Rêveuse. Media Partner: Lit Hub.
From April 4 to 30, readers all over the world will be able to vote on Albertine.com for their favorite book among the selected titles. On June 5, the winning book will be announced at Albertine Books in New York City.
 
Albertine Prize 2019 Shortlist:

Waiting for Tomorrow by Nathacha Appanah, translated by Geoffrey Strachan 
Adam, an immigrant from Mauritius, and Anita, who’s just moved to Paris from the countryside, meet at a party. They quickly fall in love, marry, and move to a village in southwestern France. Over time, the monotony of daily life begins to erode their marriage. But the arrival of Adèle, an undocumented immigrant from Mauritius who they hire to care for their daughter, sparks a short-lived burst of energy in both their personal and professional lives before their story takes a tragic turn.
Waiting for Tomorrow is a courageous and powerful examination of the artistic impulse, cultural identity, and family bonds.
 
Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, translated by Tina Kover 
In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, Kimiâ Sadr recalls her family history. As she sits alone amid couples, family narratives and personal recollections mix as her thoughts wander from her grandmother’s birth in a late 19th-century harem in northern Iran through her childhood in Tehran to her present incarnation as a 25-year-old French-Iranian punk fan.
In this spirited, kaleidoscopic tale, key moments of Iranian history, politics, and culture punctuate stories of family drama and triumph.

Small Country by Gaël Faye, translated by Sarah Ardizzone
In 1992, ten-year-old Gabriel finds life in his Burundi neighborhood to be close to paradise. He and his friends enjoy days of laughter and adventure, but little do they know that their peaceful existence will be transformed when Burundi and Rwanda enter a tumultuous period of civil war and genocide.
Beautifully written and heartfelt without ever being sentimental, Small Country is a magnificent debut novel that tells of a loss of innocence through the eyes of a child.
 
The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani, translated by Sam Taylor 
When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings, cleans and stays late without complaint. But as the couple and the nanny become more co-dependent, jealousy and resentment mount.
Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a riveting and bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood.
 
The Order of the Day by Éric Vuillard, translated by Mark Polizzotti
Winner of the 2017 Prix Goncourt, this behind-the-scenes account of the manipulation, hubris, and greed that led to Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria brilliantly dismantles the myth of an effortless victory and offers a dire warning for our current political crisis. In this vivid, compelling history, Éric Vuillard warns against the perils of willfully blind acquiescence and offers a crucial reminder that, ultimately, the worst is not inescapable.
 
 

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