Tuesday, July 3, 2012

YA Around the World: France

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Alicia from Books and Words was kind enough to do a guest post all about YA literature in France! Definitely take the time to check out her blog! 
*Important note: I translated this, so if something doesn't sound exactly right it's my fault, not Alicia's.*

Today, one doesn't need to repeat that teens read less and less. Yet novels for teens sell very well (76 million copies sold in 2009 in France). The ultimate reference in teen literature is obviously Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. France was not spared by the success of these novels.

French publishers woke well after English or American editors. It's only since 2-3 years that YA books have truly invaded the libraries: now many are devoted to this literature. There exists a publishing house (Collection R of Robert Laffont) which publishes in France the novels just released in the US. This is the case of Starters by Lissa Price. La sélection by Kiera Cass was released ten days ahead of its counterpart in the US. It's truly extraordinary that the French version is accessible before the original version! ;) Dystopian is the genre which is popular now!

In the list of YA novels which are selling the most now, one finds:
-Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The three books figure in the best sellers on Amazon.fr since the release of the movie in theaters.
-Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
-Eragon by Christopher Paolini. The fourth book only just came out.
-Novels by Anne Robillard.

A small selection of French teen authors:
-Sophie Audouin Mamikonian. This writer is very popular with teens thanks to her series Tara Duncan, the first book having come out in 2003. It's thanks to Harry Potter that it's published. Tara Duncan is also a sorcerer. 9 books are already out.
-Eli Essariam. Her series Apocalypsis is a jewel of darkness. Each book is about a Horseman of the Apocalypse. It's a very original topic and very promising, too. 
-Vincent Villeminot. Author of the series Instinct which tells of metamorphosis: of men able to transform into animals. 
Certain writers of YA Books come to France to sign their works. This is the case notably of Amy Plum, author of Die for Me and Until I Die, which take place in Paris! Claire Merle whose book The Glimpse just published, is also very close to her French readers. 

In Paris, many events take place each year. The biggest is le Salon du Livre de Montreuil (The Book Festival) where hundreds of French readers and strangers travel to be there. This year one was able to meet Simone Elkeles among others.
(Editors Note: Sounds a lot like the French equivalent of BEA!)
Teen literature is becoming a genre that is no longer read solely by children and teens.  The choice of titles becomes more and more important, and the biggest success overseas are typically translated into French. In the next few months, one waits on:

-Insurgent by Veronica Roth
-Glitch by Heather Anastasiu 
-The Future of Us by Jay Asher (Just released the week of June 17th)
-Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
-And more.

Good reading ahead!

Some novels I have in my library:

Thanks so much, Alicia! 
I like how YA books in France are read by people of all ages. It seems that's a worldwide trend! What say you?

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