French Literature


I like many of you I’m sure, won’t settle with just living in France but would like to better my understanding of its cultural history. Any recommendations on great books, be they novels, works on philosophy, poetry ect would be greatly received.

Wow! thank you sooo much everybody! i've been away working for a little while hence no replies but look how this has turned out. no book shop here in my little town but we have a city not too far away so it's time to get shopping...

i just had a look on the net for 'Rachel Sarai's Vineyard' too as it sounds very interesting Ruth Deborah ... might await it's republication though USA's price $250, UK £75 FR 16€. sounds like a very sought after book! thanks for all the input everybody. x

You’re lucky not to know them. I lived under police protection twice, because of them. NICE people, lemme tell you.

Oooh, exciting, best of luck with it all. I’ve never heard of a hoaxhunter, I’ve led a very sheltered life!

Don’t worry, Wendy, how were you to know that I use both names?

My first book was/is an autobiographical novel, Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard’ (twice withdrawn from further publication, because of hoaxhunters harassing me about my past as a child in the Dutch Underground Resistance).

The Sleeping Madonna was published in July and is a very sensual, fun, entertaining, uttttttterly romantic novel, which takes place in Portugal (since I live in France … follow me?)

Next will be a collection of poems, Touches of Mood, and -if I am still alive- another novel.

The Sleeping Madonna is a book both men and women love, but my best reviews came from men!

PS Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard will be published again, but this time with names and dates and places ‘out in the open’. That’ll teach them.

Ooops, what do you write Ruth Deborah!?

Thank you for your kind welcome, Wendy, and YES, Colette and Pagnol and then there are Sarte and de Beauvoir and and and and Rostand and and
and me
… but I write in English :slight_smile:

Sunny regards,
Ruth Deborah (yep, both names, please)

Welcome to Bookworms Ruth, I’d add Marcel Pagnol and Colette, I loved Chéri and My Mother’s House.

Poetry by Prévert, Aragon

Fiction Zola, Victor Hugo, Stendahl, Alexandre Dumas, de Maupassant, Camus, Sagan, and so on and so on.

Just waltz around the FNAC or any other good bookstore and you’ll find a wealth of literature, old and more modern. I think the choice of a book is so terribly personal, that it is best to ‘sniff’ around whenever you can and borrow good and also more recent books left and right.

I would recommend any of the novels of Emile Zola.

I would also recommend Guy de Maupassant…how are you getting on with your quest Liam?

Le Grand Meaulnes is by Alain Fournier and set in the Sologne…

Hi Liam,

Welcome to Bookworms. I’d go for some Balzac…maybe L’Assommoir and my favourite Le Grand Meaulnes. Some months ago there was a similar discussion but it seems to have disappeared…I would read anything set in the area where you live…always brings a place alive…

Thanks Jenny, i’ll look in to them.


Hi Liam, I can recommend a trilogy of novels by Claude Michelet. If you like reading in French then they start with the Grives au Loups. They are about a family of farmers in France at the start of the 20th Century and run through to the 70’s. My husband is French and they are his favorites. I do not enjoy reading in French and found them on Amazon in English. They start with Firelight and Woodsmoke. They are a real glimpse into the French country way of life and how it has evolved. I loved reading them and we have the DVD of the series made in the 80’s. Our two daughters love them too!

Hope this is of help.


Great, Just ordered Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong on amazon for £0.01p ! (Plus the £2 postage) thanks Chrissie

Hi Liam

A couple to start you off:

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong by Jean-Benoit Nadeau & Julie Barlow
The Discovery of France by Graham Robb

I’ll dig out some novels as well, later.