Tags » European Fiction

'Père Goriot' by Balzac

This is one of Balzac’s most famous novels, and rightly so. It is a masterpiece. The two most important characters are Father Goriot, retired after a successful business career, but living in poverty having, King-Lear-like, handed over most of his wealth to his two selfish daughters who have married into money and status; and Rastignac, a poor law student who lives in the same boarding-house as Goriot. 91 more words


'Colonel Chabert' by Balzac

One of Balzac’s best novellas, with none of the padding out that afflicts some of his works. It opens in a lawyer’s office where the junior staff are making fun of a shabbily-dressed client. 129 more words


Book Review: Icelandic Folktales & Legends by Jacqueline Simpson

While Iceland’s Sagas have been recognised as one of Europe’s most significant bodies of literature its folktales have received comparatively scant attention. The popular conception of European folklore has been largely defined by the Grimm brothers work in preserving Germanic traditions of fairy tales. 208 more words

European Fiction

'Compass' by Mathias Énard

Winner of the 2015 Prix Goncourt, this superbly-translated book is a hallucinatory novel which largely consists of the stream-of-consciousness musings of a musicologist, Franz, who has an ill-defined health problem and who is separated from Sarah, the woman he loves, during a night of little sleep. 163 more words


'The Unseen' by Roy Jacobsen

This is an evocation of life on a small fictional Norwegian island – an island the few inhabitants find it virtually impossible to leave for any length of time: and when they do so, it may lead to their returning and one or two extra people joining them in their island existence. 153 more words


Beyond Words - Full Line-Up and Programme

Institut français has announced an impressive line-up of author events and films screenings for the inaugural Beyond Words Live French Literature Festval.

2017 has been a busy year for translated fiction, with an exceptionally dense list of books coming out in English translation, and a flurry of European writers attending UK festivals. 1,938 more words


Beyond Words - Live French Literature Festival

Institut français has announced it will host a Beyond Words, brand new festival celebrating French literature. A six-day programme of events packed with guest appearances of French-language writers recently translated into English, and English-language writers who have a special love affair with France, including Delphine de Vigan, Alexis Jenni, Lydie Salvayre, Laurent Binet, Hisham Matar and Michael Rosen. 332 more words