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  • Published: 14 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9780241462003
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $29.99

The Penguin Book of French Short Stories: 1

From Marguerite de Navarre to Marcel Proust

  • Various Authors



A major celebration of the French short story, spanning three centuries

The short story has a rich tradition in French literature. This feast of an anthology celebrates its most famous practitioners, as well as newly translated writers ready for rediscovery. The first volume spans 400 years, taking the reader from the sixteenth century to the 'golden age' of the fin de siècle. Its pages are populated by lovers, phantoms, cardinals, labourers, enchanted statues, gentleman burglars, retired bureaucrats, panthers and parrots, in a cacophony of styles and voices. From the affairs of Madame de Lafayette to the polemic realism of Victor Hugo, the supernatural mystery of Guy de Maupassant to the dark sensuality of Rachilde, this is the place to start for lovers of French literature, new and old.

  • Published: 14 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9780241462003
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $29.99

Praise for The Penguin Book of French Short Stories: 1

If you're in the market for something beautiful and deep, The Penguin Book of French Short Stories is a sumptuous treat for any book lover.

Martin Chilton, The Independent

Tales with a certain ooh la la ... an eclectic, often steamy collection charting the history of the French short story [with] some gems by less famous figures ... high marks for quality and variety.

Matthew Reisz, The Observer

Patrick McGuinness's magisterial anthology teems with universes from each of its 84 authors ... There is so much to discover in these stories - both history and food for short story lovers everywhere.

Irish Times

It's hard to imagine a better introduction to French literature than this glorious two-volume bran tub of short fiction ... outstanding masterpieces all ... There's a welcome playfulness throughout.

John Self, The Guardian

Impeccably edited by Patrick McGuinness. The first volume stretches from the 16th century to the early 20th century ... Volume two takes us from there to the early 21st century, featuring more women and non-white authors than the first volume. Treat yourself: buy both.

Tomiwa Owolade, Sunday Times

A French version of The Thousand and One Nights ... Both volumes tell us something new about writing in French ... Such a creative arrangement forces us to rethink what we expect a short story to be or do ... Perhaps all short fiction reminds us that the end is nigh, in which case not the least of Patrick McGuinness's achievements is that of showing us how to read and live accordingly.

Annabel Kim, Times Literary Supplement

What a collection it is ... Both volumes fizz with the enthusiasm with which McGuinness has assembled stories that range across centuries and continents ... This will surely turn out to be the definitive anthology of French-language short fiction.

Charlie Connelly, The New European