The Oxford Book of French Short Stories by Elizabeth Fallaize (Fellow in French at St. John's College, Oxford)
This collection of French short stories in translation expands our idea of French writing by including new stories by women writers and by authors of Francophone origin. Spanning the centuries from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth, the collection opens with a rumbustious tale from the Marquis de Sade, takes in the masters of the nineteenth century, from Stendhal and Balzac to Maupassant, and reaches to Quebec, Africa, and the French Caribbean in the twentieth century. Women writers include relatively well known figures such as Renee Vivien, Colette, and Beauvoir, and newer writers such as Assia Djebar, Christiane Baroche, and Annie Saumont. The French short story is a rich and diverse medium, but all the stories selected share a common characteristic: they make exciting reading.