Books & Ideas
Calling all literature fans! Wondering what to keep an eye out for in translation this year? Look no further! More than 387 titles translated from French to English are slated for publication in the United States in 2022. The list is updated throughout the year as we receive new information about future releases from publishers. It is, therefore, non-exhaustive and gives an overview of the year’s trends.
Twice a year, the Book and Ideas Department of Villa Albertine publishes a list of current and upcoming translations based on data provided by American and French publishers and agents. This year is no exception, and we are pleased to see publications by major names on the French literary and intellectual scene —including Patrick Boucheron and Constance Debré, both 2022 Villa Albertine residents, Annie Ernaux, Emmanuel Carrère and Mona Chollet —as well as many promising new authors.
In fiction, we have identified 118 publications, 60 of which were released in France in the last five years, confirming a growing interest in contemporary Francophone fiction.
Some major contemporary French figures are now steadily being published in the US, such as the novelist Emmanuel Carrère with Yoga (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), the award-winning author Annie Ernaux with Getting Lost (Seven Stories Press) and Do What They Say or Else (University of Nebraska Press), and Maylis de Kerangal with Painting Time (Picador).
Many prize-winning books are making their way to American bookstores, including OuLiPo member Hervé Le Tellier, The Anomaly (the 2020 Prix Goncourt, Other Press), Jérôme Ferrari’s In His Own Image (Prix littéraire du Monde in 2018, Europa Editions), Serge Joncour’s Human Nature and Lean on Me (respectively Prix Femina in 2020 and Prix Interallié in 2016, Gallic Books), and Not Everybody Lives the Same Way by Jean-Paul Dubois (the 2019 Prix Goncourt, The Overlook Press).
A few indispensable classics are also slated for release, such as Colette’s Chéri and The End of Chéri (New York Review Books and Norton & Co), Stendhal’s Red and Black (University of Minnesota Press), and Marguerite Duras’s The Easy Life (Bloomsbury Publishing). Though most of the previously listed authors are now established authors here in the US, some are seeing their first publication in the US, including Villa Albertine resident Constance Debré with her Love Me Tender (Semiotext(e)).
For a second time, non-fiction is the most translated genre with 168 titles. Philosophy in translation remains a strong suit for French literature with 31 titles, including works by star figures Achille Mbembe (The Politics of Time, Polity Press) and Isabelle Stengers (Making Sense in Common, University of Minnesota Press).
Among the 18 history titles, a particularly notable work comes from famed medievalist and Villa Albertine resident Patrick Boucheron: Trace and Aura: The Recurring Lives of St. Ambrose of Milan (Other Press), as well as François Hartog’s Chronos, which studies the West’s relationship to time (Columbia University Press) and the always enthralling political explorations of the French capital by Eric Hazan with Paris in Turmoil (Verso Books).
Among other exciting publications, you’ll find Mona Chollet’s feminist essay In Defense of Witches (St. Martin’s Press), and an old reflection on domination with Decolonizations by Pierre Singaravélou, Karim Miské, and Marc Ball (Other Press).
The production of books on nature and environmental issues continues to grow significantly, attesting to the urgency of the topic; examples include Baptiste Morizot saw three of his essays translated in 2022, Ways of Being Alive and Rekindling the Embers of Life (both published by Polity Press), and Wild Diplomacy (SUNY Press), and the illustrated guide to the multifarious sex lives of animals, Sexus Animalis: There is Nothing Unnatural in Nature by Emmanuelle Pouydebat (MIT Press).
In the graphic novel category, 122 titles are slated for publication in 2022:
Notable works include: Call me Nathan by Villa Albertine resident Quentin Zuttion, a coming-of-age story that explores transgender identity (SelfMadeHero); the funny and sharp Word Record Holders by famous cartoonist Guy Delisle (Drawn & Quarterly); the moving and insightful So Much For Love, Sophie Lambda’s first graphic novel, in which she tells her love story with a narcissistic pervert (First Second Books/Macmillan); the vibrant and luminous comic by Cy, Radium Girls (Iron Circus Comics); and Antoine Maillard’s chilling and oppressive Slash Them All (Fantagraphics Books).
34 children’s books will be translated in 2022, including Alma by Timothée de Fombelle, a powerful novel that deals with the history of the slave trade (Europa Editions), and Blaze and the Castle Cake for Bertha Daye by Claude Ponti, a phantasmagorical story from one of the world’s most beloved children’s book authors. Also of note is Marie Dorleans’s Our Fort, which takes readers on a fantastic walk leading to the fort of our dreams (New York Review Books), while Enchanted Lion Books will publish its third picture book by Beatrice Alemagna, You Can’t Kill Snow White.
In poetry, 13 works will be published this year. Among them, we have identified some classics, such as Arthur Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat: Selected Writings (New York Review Books) and Paul Valéry’s Selected Poems (Oxford University Press). A few contemporary poets addressing today’s most pressing topics round out the list: Ivorian writer Tanella Boni recounts the difficulties of being a Black woman, no matter where you live, in There Where It’s So Bright in Me (Nebraska Press), and When the Night Agrees to Speak with Me by Mauritian writer Ananda Devi addresses the violence of the relations of domination and the fate of women (Deep Vellum Publishing).
If a publication has been overlooked or if the date of a title has been postponed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will update our list without delay. Please stay tuned for an update at the beginning of the year.
These are just a few of the works that will be published next year. Discover the full list here. We hope you find a book or two to your liking!
Article updated on July 20, 2022