This spring AFJ is introducing a new opportunity for members: le Club de lecture. Together, we will select the book to read from recent selections in the AFUSA’s (the national organization for Alliance Française chapters in the United States) One Book One Federation program.
Please use the form at the bottom of the page to vote for your selection. It’s not necessary to include your name and email when you vote, but if you don’t do it on the form, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you are interested in participating.
We plan two discussion sessions for this book: one as a midway point check-in and one when we have completed the book. Dates will be set to work best for those in the group.
A few notes about the books:
• The books are all between 200 and 300 pages long.
• The AFUSA books are chosen with both fluent speakers and students in mind. We encourage you to read the French version of the chosen book.
• Reading guides are available for each of these books.
• Discussion will be primarily in French, but English may be used some when needed.
La Vraie Vie by Adeline Dieudonné
AFUSA 2019-2020 One Book One Federation selection
With a humorous and dazzling writing style, Belgian author Adeline Dieudonné has created a magnificent heroine surrounded by wild characters in an acid and sensual universe. This is a gut-wrenching coming-of-age story and an absolutely striking first novel.
It is a house that resembles all the others on the block. Or almost. At home there are four rooms: her own, that of her little brother, Gilles, that of the parents, and that of the corpses. The father is a big game hunter. The mother is transparent, a fearful amoeba, submissive to her husband’s moods. Saturdays are spent playing in the car carcasses at the dump. Until the day when a violent accident changes everything.
From then on, Gilles does not laugh anymore. Our ten-year-old heroine would like to cancel everything, go back. Erase this life that appears to her as the draft of the other. The real one.
This book won the Prix du roman FNAC and the Prix Renaudot des Lycéens 2018. It is currently being developed into a movie.
Adeline Dieudonné (born 12 October 1982) is a Belgian author and performer. La Vraie Vie is her first novel.
La Délicatesse by David Foenkinos
AFUSA 2018-2019 One Book One Federation selection
Reminiscent of novels by Nick Hornby, Muriel Barbery, and Jonathan Tropper, internationally acclaimed novelist David Foenkinos delivers a heartfelt and deftly comedic tale of new love brightening the dark aftermath of loss—and of wounded hearts finding refuge in the strangest of places.
After her husband’s unexpected death, Natalie has erected a fortress around her emotions—and Markus, clumsy and unassuming, will never be her knight in shining armor. Yet slowly but surely, an offbeat romance begins between these two mismatched, complex souls, and contrary to everything Natalie knows of affection, her perfect suitor may turn out to be love’s most unlikely candidate—the fool, not the hero, who is finally able to reach her heart.
About the author: David Foenkinos (born October 28, 1974) is a French author and screenwriter. He studied literature and music in Paris. La Délicatesse is a bestseller in France.
La tête en friche by Marie-Sabine Roger
AFUSA 2017-2018 One Book One Federation selection
Hulking Germain Chazes, 45 years old, is the neighborhood idiot. He lives in a battered trailer parked at the rear of the garden of his mother’s house. He spends his time between visits to the corner bistro and the local public park. There he meets Margueritte, a well-educated elderly lady who helps him to discover the world of books and of words, which he mistrusts and which frightens him immensely. His relationship with those around him and with himself will be turned on its head as a result of these new discoveries.
This is a simple, unpretentious story that will totally charm you and will leave you happy with its feel-good ending. All along the way you will share the joys and tribulations of these two characters. The book was selected for its unassuming style and plotline, and will, as such, reach a wide audience of Alliance Française members. The French is accessible and suitable for B1 and B2 language students.