The Art of Losing

Prix Renaudot-winning author Alice Zeniter’s newest book to be translated into English ‘The Art of Losing’ (L’Art de Perdre), translated from the French by Frank Wynne, is a sweeping, intergenerational exploration of the ongoing tensions between Algeria and its former colonizer France.  Though the book begins and ends centered on a…

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The Last One

“My name is Fatima Daas.” This is the rhythmic refrain of Fatima Daas’ debut novel The Last One, a tender but powerful exploration of the “often conflicting facets of her identity: French. Algerian. Muslim. Lesbian.” The book, which was originally published in France in 2020 and then swiftly released in English…

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Image of Lake in Maine

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake, by French-Canadian internationally acclaimed crime writer Andrée A. Michaud, is an arresting, surrealist thriller that is propelled by a deeply relatable yet comically unlikable protagonist. Robert Moreau is a fifty-something retiree who abruptly left behind his family and friends, with only his loyal dog Jeff as company, to…

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A Beast in Paradise

At the end of the book, I was left wondering who was the title beast? Alexander or Blanche? It was only in the days after as I continued to ponder that question that I stumbled across the original French title—as a novice student of French, I was struck by its…

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Scan from old edition of Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata for violin & piano

The Bridgetower Sonata

Sonata per un mulattico lunatico. This is the dedication that Ludwig van Beethoven affectionately gave to his Violin Sonata No. 9, a piece deemed not only too hard to play, but also “outrageously unintelligible” and an affront to music, by contemporary virtuosic violinists. Due to a falling out, Beethoven ultimately…

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