French Writers From A to Z

My Childhood Public Library Was Located in this Castle

In December 2016, WordPress asked writers, photographers, artists, poets, and business and website owners a simple question: what’s in store for you and your blog/website in 2017?

A few months later, I would offer the same response I did back then.

Through my blog, I open a window on my life spent between two languages and cultures (French and American English).

With this goal in mind I decided to participate once again to the A to Z Challenge.


Here is what you can expect to find every day but Sundays for the month of April:

A selection of French authors, a man and a woman, for each letter of the alphabet.

A couple of facts related to this challenge:

1- Here in the US, I don’t find too many French books translated in American English.

The most famous French writers remain Camus with The Stranger and Victor Hugo with Les Misérables. Some Francophiles know the contemporary work of a few authors, Michel Houellbecq, for example. However, the vast majority of Americans see France either as an old country or as a pink-chic land.

2- With the support of Livrophage extraordinaire, a French avid reader I’ve only met through our mutual blogs and our e-mail correspondence, I was convinced to build a list of contemporary French authors.

We decided that this challenge should focus on writers from the 20th century with books published in the 20th and 21st century.

In an interesting way, my French virtual friend devours American literature. Coming up with a list of  French authors from A to Z will be a challenge for her, too.

In a natural way, she decided to write in French while I will write in English. Our posts won’t be translated and won’t alternate regularly between the two languages. They will depend on our knowledge and interest for a specific author.


My hope is that everyone of you will find something, in either language.

After all, this is the life I live every day.

It’s a way of life that carries its own challenges but offers countless surprises. And I love it just the way it is.

I hope you will enjoy this challenge and will stop by once in a while, maybe to refresh your French 🙂 and perhaps to discover a new French writer and fall in love with her/his words.


Meanwhile, for everyone dealing today with the spring nor’easter, a photo taken a few years ago along a snowy California trail, also in the spring.



  1. judithworks says:

    I hope you will add Kamel Daoud who wrote The Meursault Investigation. Great book!

  2. I think that sounds fun! I look forward to it.
    I read maybe 20-30 books in French. I had to read the first few over and over, sentence by sentence, so many times, that those of them are some of my favorites, feeling like I read them each 20-30 times 😉
    I think Les Miserables was the only big novel I read in French — and made good use of my dictionary. And then I read it in English and I preferred the French. It reads drier in English. Sometimes it must be like that.

    • I know what you are talking about, Joey, believe me. This is the way it was for me for a while. Dictionary included. And I share your feeling about translation. As good as the work can be doen, nothing beats the original version. I had read countless novels written by American authors before moving to the US. When I was able to read them in English my experience was different. Les Miserables is a pretty thick book to read in French. I’m pretty sure that you will find some ideas in April. Many novels will be shorter and also much more contemporary. See you later.

  3. This sounds like it will be both fun and interesting!

    • I’m not sure it will be fun for me 🙂 I’m a little afraid of the challenge to be honest. I’m so glad that my French friend is helping me. But I’m always a little nervous when I start something new and it often goes much better than I expected. I hope that you will discover new names and novels in April.

  4. What a great topic – I can’t wait to read you alphabetical posts.
    I haven’t decided whether or not to participate in the challenge this year.

    • Yours was very cool last year, Claire. Honestly I was hesitant but when I started emailing my French blogger friend and saw how committed she was, I decided to do it. Hope to see you here. I will check what you are up to.

  5. I am not blogging enough in either of my blogs. I might have to take up this A–Z challenge in one or both of them! Meanwhile, I look forward to learning more about French authors from you. 🙂

    • Well, your blogs are great the way they are. This challenge will be good for me too since I need to update my French reading 🙂 I already found new names and novels that I cannot wait to read. The thing is that few French authors are translated in English. So unless people can read French it is not easy to discover them.

  6. Love the promotion of great writers!

    • Most don’t need it and certainly not from me, but I’m a little tired to always hear from the same names whenever I talk about France. So it’s a good way to show the diversity of the French literary scene. More recent novels showcasing a more contemporary France. Hope all is well for you, Jennifer.

  7. Bonjour Evelyne ! Tellement contente de faire ce challenge à tes côtés ! Et si désolée que mon anglais soit si misérable …
    Ne te mets pas trop la pression, ceci reste une sorte de jeu, on va faire une équipe d’enfer, et je suis sûre que tes lecteurs ici seront indulgents. Je sais, tu es très pro, moi pas du tout ! Mais je suis prête ! 🙂 J’espère aussi que ma contribution permettra à tes amis américains de découvrir nos nouveaux auteurs, et je tiens à leur dire que la littérature de votre pays est pour moi une source de bonheur permanent ! Bises

    • Le plaisir est le mien et vraiment il n’y avait qu’une seule personne pour me soutenir dans ce projet et offrir de nouveaux noms et romans. À plus tard.

  8. A very interesting challenge Evelyne, I’ll be interested to see whether I know many of the authors and look forward to being introduced to some new ones!

    • I hope I will, Andrea! For you, living in the UK it will be easier to get access to some of these French authors. Harder in the US. Hope to see you sometimes in April 🙂

  9. Your theme (and the mix of languages) sounds quite interesting to me. I used to read a lot in French, but lately it is hard to find authors that interest me… So maybe I will get inspired by your posts!

    My theme is going to be postcards, as my blog is about all postal things.

    • Thank you, Eva for stopping by. I used to read only in French but now I read much more in English. I’m so glad to get some help from a French blogger for this challenge. When I shared my idea with her she was totally in favor. I already discovered some new authors and novels I’d love to read myself:)
      The only issue is that few French writers are available here in the US. I will always specify when their work is translated in English.
      Your theme is cool. I used to write lots of postcards in the past. Now, few people write anymore and I guess I started to be discouraged to never receive mail in return 😦
      See you around!

  10. This will be an interesting read. With access to free classics on Kindle I’ve managed to come across some French authors I probably never would’ve discovered otherwise. Hopefully you’ll be able to introduce me to some more.

    Good luck with the challenge.

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

    • Thank you, Cait. My goal is to offer contemporary authors, since you’re right many classics are now available online. The only challenge is that some authors I will introduce aren’t translated in English. But it will give an idea of the kind of literature that French people read nowadays. Hope to see you sometimes in April.

  11. Arlee Bird says:

    I probably couldn’t name many French writers off the top of my head, but I think I’d probably recognize some of the names. I think I took a French Lit. class in college, but that was a long long time ago.

    Welcome back to another A to Z!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • My goal is to introduce new names since most Americans know the classics. Believe me, it’s quite a challenge and I’m glad to get real help from a blogger friend from France. Good luck to you too!

  12. Thanks for expanding my reading list, though I’ll have to keep the the English translations!

  13. Quelle bonne idée que tu as eu! Xx

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