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French Tales


French Tales Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fiction is much more enlightening about a country and its people than are statistics, and if we want to find out and understand what a nation is really like, we must read its literature. In French Tales, Helen Constantine offers a panoramic view of French society and culture as seen through its short fiction, ranging through all twenty-two regions of France and featuring the work of an engaging collection of writers.

Here are stories as varied as the regions of France themselves--dramatic, tragic, comic, poetic, ghostly, satirical. Readers will find both famous and little-known writers--among them Guy de Maupassant, Emile Zola, Daniel Boulanger, Didier Daeninckx, and Colette--and will wander the country from Provence and Alsace to Ile-de-France and Normandy. The themes are timeless--marriage and the dealings between the sexes; the nature of friendship; the misery and the memory of war--and the stories themselves reflect the rich ethnic diversity of France. Thus, Christian Garcin's story set in Lille has Flemish associations; Prosper Mérimée's Mateo Falcone, about an honor killing in Corsica, is in many respects more Italian than French; and Marcel Aymé's story about Arbi, an Arab in Paris living at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, illustrates only too well the plight of many North Africans who settled in the larger cities--Paris and Marseille especially.

Following the model of the highly successful Paris Tales, also translated by Helen Constantine, each story is illustrated with a striking photograph and there is a map indicating the position of the French regions. There is an introduction and notes to accompany the stories and a selection of further readings.

About the Author

Helen Constantine is editor of the magazine Modern Poetry in Translation and the editor/translator of Paris Tales.

Table of Contents


1. Bretagne

You should have changed at Dol, Annie Saumont

2. Basse-Normandie

Made for Two, Daniel Boulanger

3. Haute-Normandie

A Norman, Guy de Maupassant

4. Nord-Pas-de-Calais

The Voiceless, Christian Garcin

5. Picardie

The Garden of Illusions, Pierre Mac Orlan

6. Ile-de-France

Rue de L'Évangile, Marcel Aymé

7. Champagne Ardenne

Light Souls, Stéphane Émond

8. Lorraine

The House in the Woods, Stéphane Émond

9. Alsace

The Phantom of Rainbow Street, Didier Daeninckx

10. Pays-de-la-Loire

The Saviours of the White Wine, René Bazin

11. Centre

The Cattle Man, Daniel Boulanger

12. Bourgogne

Where are the children?, Colette

13. Franche-Comté

The Vanishing, Louis Pergaud

14. Poitou-Charentes

Julie, Jacques Chardonne

15. Limousin

Four Walls, Claude Michelet

16. Auvergne

A Mother's Tale, Guy de Maupassant

17. Rhone-Alpes

The Bull from Jouvet, Paul Hervieu

18. Aquitaine

We can't go on like this, Anne-Marie Garat

19. Midi-Pyrénées

The Flood, Émile Zola

20. Languedoc-Roussillon

The Beaucaire Coach, Alphonse Daudet

21. Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

The Pope's Mule, Alphonse Daudet

22. Corse

Mateo Falcone, Prosper Mérimée

Notes on the Stories

Further Reading


Product Details

Constantine, Helen
Oxford University Press, USA
null, Helen
Europe - France
Short Stories (Anthologies)
Short stories, French
France Social life and customs.
Literature/English | World Literature | France
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Numerous b/w photographs
7.50x5.00x.80 in. .85 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Accounting and Finance
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » European Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » International
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

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