Fostering French Language and Culture in Southwest Florida


Alliance Française Book Club

"Les Amis Lecteurs"

Following the successful pattern of many Alliance Française chapters throughout the United States, we are pleased to offer our membership the opportunity to discover literature currently being read and discussed in Europe.

Our group convenes monthly for an hour immediately following the main Alliance meeting, November through May, with no gathering in December.

We discuss works written in French by contemporary authors, many of which have won prestigious literary prizes over the past few years.

In keeping with our purpose—the promotion of the French language and culture—all books we select have been written in French. Discussions will also take place in French. Though participation assumes French competency at the intermediate level and beyond, we are firmly committed to the knowledge that everyone’s communication skills are greatly enhanced by reading and discussing in a second language.

We welcome students from the Alliance Française French classes and encourage them to read, participate as they are able, or merely listen to our discussions. We pledge our friendly support as their vocabulary expands and they speak with increasing fluency!

Additionally, to the extent possible, we have selected books that are also available in English translation for any interested reader who feels his French is still “a work in progress”.

All literature selected has been recommended by club members. We ask members to recommend books they have read and to take turns leading the discussion. Synopses of works to be read are posted below several months ahead of time so that readers may arrange to purchase their own books. All materials are available at a reasonable price from the major online booksellers.

For further information, contact Lois Ann Folliard : lafolliard@gmail.com.

Welcome to the 2016-2017 season of our book club

  • Thursday, November 10 at 1:30 p.m.
  • "La Grand-Mère de Jade"[in French] par Frédérique Deghelt
    Une jeune femme enlève sa grand-mère pour lui éviter la maison de retraite. Récit à deux voix, mettant en scène des personnages qui ont l'audace et la force de réinventer leur vie.

  • Thursday, January 12 at 1:30 p.m. [ Federation's choice ]
  • "La Commissaire N'aime Point les vers"[in French] par Georges Flipo [not available in english]
    La commissaire Viviane Lancier n'est pas du genre poète, mais la voici condamnée à se passionner pour Baudelaire : un sonnet torride dont il serait l'auteur se transforme en serial killer, envoyant à la morgue ceux qui s'y intéressent. Flanquée de son ingénu lieutenant, Viviane Lancier plonge dans une enquête où semblent la narguer les morts, les survivants et même les revenants.

  • Thursday, February 9 at 1:30 p.m.
  • "Réparer les vivants"[in French] par Maylis de Kerangal (This book also exists in English translation under the title: The Heart.)
    Le cœur de Simon migrait dans un autre endroit du pays, ses reins, son foie et ses poumons gagnaient d'autres provinces, ils filaient vers d'autres corps.» Réparer les vivants est le roman d'une transplantation cardiaque. Telle une chanson de gestes, il tisse les présences et les espaces, les voix et les actes qui vont se relayer en vingt-quatre heures exactement. Roman de tension et de patience, d'accélérations paniques et de pauses méditatives, il trace une aventure métaphysique, à la fois collective et intime, où le cœur, au-delà de sa fonction organique, demeure le siège des affects et le symbole de l'amour.

  • Thursday, March 9 at 1:30 p.m.
  • "L'éternité n'est pas de trop"[in French] par François Chang (This book exist also in English translation under the title: Green Mountain, White Cloud )
    The author is a member of the French Academy. The elegant, prize-winning book from 2002 is an exquisite love story that is set towards the end of the Ming Dynasty in China. It is rich with Chinese history, philosophy and culture, yet is easy to read and virtually poetic in its style. It balances well with our January selection which, though a mystery novel, is about poetry and, to some degree, love.

  • Thursday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m.
  • "Peste et Choléra"[in French] par Patrck Deville(This book exist also in English translation under the title :Plague and Cholera)
    This book continues the theme of medicine and medical research that we took up in February. While a novel, it is based on the life of Alexandre Yersin, an alumnus of the Institut Pasteur, who worked with great success in Europe and in Asia to eliminate plague and other deadly diseases, yet is not very well known in Western circles.

  • Thursday, May 11 at 1:30 p.m.
  • As a finale to our season, we will discuss the short story "Iceberg" by Fred Kassak which you may download free of charge from the internet. (Click here on the title: ICEBERG to download and print the story which appears on this year's reading list from the French school system.)
    Fred Kassak, de son vrai nom Pierre Humblot, est un scénariste et romancier français et spécialisé dans les romans policiers.Adepte du roman humoristique, il passe pour maître dans l’art de la chute. Il se consacre désormais au cinéma, à la télévision et à la radio. Michel Audiard a adapté librement deux de ses romans ("Bonne vie et meurtres" et "Voulez-vous tuer avec moi ?") pour le cinéma sous les titres suivants : "Elle boit pas, elle fume pas, elle drague pas, mais... elle cause "! en 1969, et "Comment réussir quand on est con et pleurnichard" en 1973.
    Alliance Française de Bonita Springs -- P.O.Box 1511. Bonita Springs, FL. 34133 -- Tel: (239)592-1735 -- Email:lovefrench@afbonitasprings.org
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