Friday, August 28, 2015

French Literature Recommendations

Hi, everyone! Today, I have decided to recommend to you a few French books that I read while pursuing my Masters in the language, with literature as my specialisation. I consider myself very lucky to have come across and read some literary marvels during my studies of two years. All the books mentioned are not necessarily French. Some of them are books I used for reference and sometimes even for light background reading. Whatever the case, I will be sharing both, the French and English editions of the books as I believe our blog readers majorly fall read in the latter category. Also, these are just few books. If you'd like to take a look at more French books, you can check out my Goodreads French Literature shelf to know all the French books I have read either as part of my course or otherwise. Here is my list, in no particular order: 

En attendant Godot or Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett- 

Wow. This play speaks volumes about human nature and it speaks of hope. Beckett has written a lovely play that will make you laugh and cry, all at once. 

L'étranger or The Stranger by Albert Camus- 

My review of the book can be found here

L'étranger came to me at the perfect time. It was very easy for me to relate to the protagonist Meursault, who does not just represent a man of the 20th century war stricken world, but also each and every one of us, in some way or the other. Camus is a true genius and the way he has crafted Meursault is admirable and real. 

Neige or Snow by Maxence Fermine-  

This is the prettiest book I have read. Fremine's writing is absolutely magical, especially when you start paying close attention to all the minute details. Neige will make you fall in love. On top of all that, this is a weekend or day/ night long leisure read. 

Je l'aimais or Someone I Loved by Anna Gavalda- 

Gavalda's contemporary writing paints a cracking picture of the modern French woman. The book has been adapted into a movie as well. So if not the book, I would definitely recommend watching the movie which is quite similar to the book. 


La petite fille de Monsieur Linh is a wonderful story that didn't appeal to me at first, but that has found a place in my heart. This is one of those books that make you appreciate it more every time you think of it. It is so good that it can bring tears to your eyes. 

Incendies or Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad- 

The. Best. Play. Ever. And. The. Most. Mind. Blowing. Story. Ever. This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It will shatter you to pieces. It will break your heart. It will tear you apart. And when a book does all that, it is bound to be a gem that's to be preserved. 

You can read my review of it here

Andromaque by Racine- 

Racine's writing is so beautiful that he makes Greek tragedies sound like the most melodious poetry you've ever read. I was awestruck by the beauty of his poetry as well as the interesting tale that is Greek mythology. 

Orientalism by Edward Said- 

Said's realistic, intellectual and powerful thesis makes for a very interesting read that contributes to some major thought-process. This book changed the way I look at the world. It is an absolute must-read. 

Le deuxième sexe or The Second Sex  by Simone de Beauvoir- 

I haven't read the whole book; I only read those parts that were pertinent to my work. But from those few parts alone, I can confidently say the following: Simone de Beauvoir's discourse on feminism is so brilliant that it acts as the basic level or beginners course for the field. There is so much of truth and passion in this book that it is to feminism or womanism what the Bible is to Christianity. 

I really hope this was helpful for you, and I also hope that you consider reading some or all of these books. If you do, make sure you let me know your thoughts as I'm always up for bookish talk. 

Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading! 


  1. This is so awesome of you, Sarika. Who else can say that they read books in three languages? Not many people. It's been a very long time since I was fluent in French, back when I went to a French Immersion school and was taught everything in French, and unfortunately my grasp of the language isn't what it used to be. I would really love to be able to delve back into some French literature again! My favourite from school was Cyrano de Bergerac - have you read that one yet? It's often referred to as the French Romeo and Juliet. It's awfully tragic anyway... though Hollywood's adaptations of it have turned it into quite the comedy.

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