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Albertine Prize 2017 - Vote for your favorite new French fiction!

Albertine Prize 2017 - Vote for your favorite new French fiction!

Published on April 5, 2017
Discover the best of new French fiction and vote for the books you love before April 30.

The Albertine Prize recognizes American readers’ favorite contemporary Francophone literature while encouraging the discovery of new literary voices, translated and published in the US in the past year. The selection presents a range of stories from many diverse locations and perspectives, reminding us of the importance of looking beyond one’s own borders.

You don’t have to read them all to participate! Read one novel or more from the list below, and vote for as many as you want!

Couple Mechanics
By Nelly Alard, translated by Adriana Hunter (Other Press)
At once sexy and feminist, ’Couple Mechanics’ tells the story of a woman who decides to fight for her marriage after her husband confesses to an affair with a noted politician. With intelligence, honesty, and humor, the novel examines the forces at work in a marriage, the effects of the inevitable ebb and flow of desire, and the difficulty of being in a relationship today.

By Adrien Bosc, translated by Willard Wood (Other Press)
This best-selling debut novel from one of France’s most exciting young writers is based on the true story of the 1949 disappearance of the Constellation, a new plane launched by Howard Hughes, and its famous passengers. Tying together the destinies of boxer - and fiancé of Edith Piaf - Marcel Cerdan, a musical prodigy, and others, the novel gives these thirty-eight men and women a new life by imagining their long-forgotten story.

Eve Out of Her Ruins
By Ananda Devi, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Deep Vellum)
With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in an endless cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only source of power; Savita, Eve’s best friend; Saadiq, a gifted would-be poet in love with Eve; and Clélio, a belligerent rebel waiting for his brother to send for him from France.

The Heart
By Maylis De Kerangal, translated by Sam Taylor (FSG)
’The Heart’ takes place over the 24 hours surrounding a fatal car crash and the subsequent heart transplant as life is taken from a young man and given to a dying woman. As stylistically audacious as it is emotionally explosive, the book examines the deepest emotions of everyone involved - grieving parents, doctors and nurses - as they navigate decisions of life and death. The book won numerous prizes.

The Little Communist Who Never Smiled
By Lola Lafon, translated by Nick Caistor (Seven Stories Press)
Lola Lafon’s award-winning novel offers a fictionalized account of iconic gymnast Nadia Comaneci’s life, from her rural Romanian childhood to her unprecedented perfect score in the 1976 Olympics and to her 1989 defection to the U.S. The book re-imagines a childhood in the spotlight of history, a woman adored by young girls in the West and appropriated as a political emblem in Communist Romania.

Suite for Barbara Loden
By Nathalie Leger, translated by Natasha Lehrer and Cécile Menon (Dorothy, a publishing project)
Moving between fact and speculation, film criticism and anecdote, ’Suite for Barbara Loden’ came out of Nathalie Léger’s obsessive investigation into the mysteries of ’Wanda’, the only film American actress Barbara Loden ever wrote and directed.

By Marie Ndiaye, translated by Jordan Stump (Knopf)
A harrowing and subtly crafted novel of a woman captive to a secret shame, ’Ladivine’ tells the story of Clarisse Rivière, whose pale beauty helps her to rise above her dark-skinned mother’s life of servitude. A mesmerizing tale, ’Ladivine’ proves Marie NDiaye to be one of Europe’s great storytellers.

Infidels: A Novel
By Abdellah Taia, translated by Alison L. Strayer (Seven Stories Press)
Set in Morocco, ’Infidels’ follows the life of Jallal and his mother, a prostitute who endures hypocrisy and rejection, from their home country to Cairo, Brussels to Casablanca. Filled with a cast of supporting characters whose dreams unravel, the book is structured as a series of monologues, an emotionally relentless mix of confession and secret longing.

By Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated by Edward Gauvin (Dalkey Archive)
’Naked’ is Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s fourth and final novel about one of the most fully realized female characters of contemporary fiction, the haute couturière Marie Madeleine Marguerite de Montalte. With his customary nuanced reflection and nimble wit, Toussaint continues to follow Marie’s relationship with his unnamed narrator, navigating through jealousy and comedy, irony and tenderness.

Bardo or Not Bardo
By Antoine Volodine, translated by J. T. Mahany (Open Letter Books)
One of the funniest installments in Antoine Volodine’s acclaimed post-apocalyptic series, ’Bardo or Not Bardo’ consists of seven vignettes set in a universe of failed revolutions, radical shamanism, and off-kilter nomenclature. In each one, a newly dead character bungles his way through the Tibetan afterlife, or Bardo, failing to achieve enlightenment, while the living make a similar mess of things.


The Albertine Prize, co-presented by Van Cleef & Arpels and the French Embassy, recognizes American readers’ favorite French-language fiction title that has been translated into English and distributed in the US within the preceding calendar year (January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016).

Readers are invited to discover a shortlist of 10 works, selected by the expert staff at Albertine. They may vote for their favorite titles starting March 14.

Three finalists will be announced on April 14, kicking off a second round of voting. The online vote will end on April 30th and the winner will be announced on June 6, 2017.

A $10,000 prize will be split between the author and translator of the winning title at a ceremony hosted by the Albertine Prize Honorary Chairs, acclaimed author and translator Lydia Davis and French literary critic and TV and radio host François Busnel.


March 14: Round one, vote from a selection of 10 books,
April 14: 3 finalists announced, round two voting starts,
April 30: Voting ends,
June 6: Winner is announced by the Albertine Prize Honorary Chairs, acclaimed author and translator Lydia Davis and French literary critic and TV and radio host François Busnel.


Voting will take place online at from March 14-April 30, 2017. Participants are encouraged to vote twice: once during the first round (March 14-April 14) from a selection of ten titles, and again during a final round (April 14-30) from a selection of 3 titles. Voters must be in the United States for their vote to register and they must provide their name and email address. Voters are not required to read the entire selection of the books and they may vote for one or several titles. Voters must provide an email address and vote from within the United States in order for their vote to register.

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