French Readers Put Arab Authors on the Bestseller List

In Publishing Perspectives, Olivia Snaije writes about the prevalence of Arab authors on current French bestseller lists, including Kamel Daoud's The Meursault Investigation (published in English by Other Press), Boualem Sansal's 2084 (English translation forthcoming from Europa Editions), and Mathias Enard's Boussole (English translation to be published by New Directions).

French is no longer a language that just belongs to France. It has been firmly adopted by authors who grew up under French colonialism but also by younger writers who no longer feel burdened by it... The long tradition of francophone writing from Arab countries is flourishing; even if in North Africa policies of Arabization were put into place following decolonization, French continues to have a significant linguistic presence. A large number of these authors are first published in France by mainstream publishers, and have direct access to the French market.