Ten fictions, moreover, which have marked the year 2017

Photo: Blowgun
Two panels from the comic strip of Lucas Harari, “The magnet”

Italy, Greenland, United States or France, also came to our meeting this year. Our critics remember them in ten books to remember.

The choice of Fabien Church



An odyssey
Daniel Mendelsohn, (Flammarion), translated from the English by Clothilde Meyer and Isabelle D. Taudière

Let the universality of a classic, The odyssey of Homer, circumscribe the relationship of a father and his son. This is what made Daniel Mendelsohn in the story of the beautiful rests on the final meeting of the author with his father, Jay, 81-year-old, who in 2012 attended an academic seminar given by this son novelist on the famous poem of ancient Greece. The reunion of Odysseus and Telemachus give this family privacy, where one recognizes the other, where two emotions are close before that one of them should go away.

Our life in the forests
Marie Darrieussecq (P. O. L)

There is something of the will, that of an epoch, an era, a carelessness, in this dystopia narrated by Viviane, a psychologist, now a fugitive of a world in which humanity is lost in the hyperconnexion worship and the blind of the technology, to be recomposed, with other resistance fighters in the woods. The horror and anguish of the present, converge, under a feather fair and frank way in which the subtle irony can only put the hope into pieces.

Homo sapienne

Niviaq (The Tribe), Korneliussen, translation from Danish by Inès Jorgensen

Life is alive and well in Nuuk, capital of Greenland. The anguish, the contradictions, the tensions of culture, language, identity also. With a dynamism draws strength from the chip, the young author of 27 years, tells her story and reveals the doubts and the discomfort of his generation in this narrative coup-de-poing, which, in 2012, has shaken this territory a distance of 56 000 souls. A northern reality closer to ours by this first translation in French.

The magnet
Lucas Harari (Blowgun)

This is the first album of comic strip of a young author that will leave you breathless by the talent, the intelligence, the light and the brilliance that it concentrates in each box. Minimalism, clear lines and colour in flat tints mark the story of a fascination disturbing, that of Peter to the thermal baths of Vals, in Grisons region in Switzerland. The modern architecture of the premises signed Peter Zumthor gives its design to the work and leaves his spirit to tint a mystery solidly built.

Véronique Olmi (Albin Michel)

Kidnapped by slavers when she was seven years old, in the vicinity of his native village in Darfur, Bakhita experienced one of its destinies unlikely that gives body to the prominent figures of history. This novel draws on the reality of this woman became a nun in Italy, at the beginning of the last century, at the end of their journey through hell. The book of Véronique Olmi tells the story with accuracy, fairness, and a profound empathy, an inner journey, a construction, on the long road to the enslavement, abuse and obnoxious.


The choice of Christian Desmeules


Photo: Franck Ferville Editions Denoël
Rarely the confusion of adolescence has been expressed with as much accuracy as in the last book of the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard.

The corners of the world. My struggle, volume 4
Karl Ove Knausgaard (Denoël), translated from the Norwegian by Marie-Pierre Fiquet

Out of the secondary in the mid-1980s, at 18 years old, obsessed with women, alcohol, music and literature, Knausgaard became a teacher for a year in a tiny village in the far north of Norway. This 4th volume of the monster’s literary and autobiographical of the Norwegian writer looks back on that period of his life in the style digressif and uncouth that we know him. Rarely the confusion of adolescence has been expressed with as much accuracy. A magic that works.

Volia Volnaïa
Victor Remizov (Belfond), translated from the Russian by Luba Jurgenson

It is a powerful story of poaching and corruption lying at the heart of the immense siberian taiga, with its isbas floor of beaten earth and its Bouranes pétaradants. Capable of flights to the accents of wisdom cosmic, but without the lyricism, the Russian Victor Remizov tire of the clashes between men and nature in a novel and fascinating which takes place in the manner of a thriller. A beautiful cry of freedom, revolt, and despair.

The furies
Lauren Groff (The Olive tree), translated from the English by Carine Chichereau

The more we advance in the novel by Lauren Groff, and more cracks in the mirror smooth of the couple formed by its two protagonists become apparent. Dramas secret to the source of the personality of each one. What do we know of the other ? Really ? Ode to conjugal love, a novel, a feminist-like Greek tragedy, The furies is filled with profound questions and nagging — what is a successful life ? What is the fidelity ? The U.s. explores mercilessly the misunderstanding that may be the source of all love story.

The one who flees and the one that remains. Girlfriend is prodigious, volume 3
Elena Ferrante (Gallimard), translated from the Italian by Elsa Damien

Camped in Italy in the 1970s, in an atmosphere of civil war creeping and fighting body to body done in the privacy of the couples, while love and sexuality are to be reinvented, the 3rd volume of the tetralogy neapolitan Elena Ferrante seduces him more than ever. True to his narrative, meditative, and gripping plot, the writer manages once again to captivate us, detailing the fate of these two women, performing the delicate feat of combining in one and the same breath, the intimate and the political.

Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead (Albin Michel), translated from the English by Serge Chauvin

A young slave agrees to flee the plantation where she grew up to reach the North and freedom through an underground railway — materialization fictional and fantastic of clandestine networks that have actually existed. With this 6th novel, Pulitzer prize and National Book Award in 2016, Colson Whitehead book a portrait without concession of slavery in the Nineteenth century, and provides us with keys to understanding the United States today. A novel and powerful a real history lesson.