America - An Anthology of France and the United States
Publisher: Black Cat
America: An Anthology collects pieces from François Busnel’s bestselling French magazine of literature and politics that seeks to chronicle Donald Trump’s presidency from the perspectives of Francophone and English-speaking novelists, journalists, and public intellectuals.
Busnel is a major literary celebrity in France. Since 2008, he has hosted and produced La Grande Librairie, a weekly prime-time television program for which he interviews French and international writers, and which boasts an audience of five to seven hundred thousand viewers.
Known in French as a mook (a book-magazine), America was conceived by Busnel in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. An avid Americanophile, Busnel wanted to collect the insights and analyses on four years of Trump from some of the most celebrated writers from the United States and the Francophone world in a form that would act both as “a map of America [and] also a memoir of its time.” Each issue sells around 40,000 copies in France.
The anthology contains pieces from some of France’s bestselling writers—including Leïla Slimani on #MeToo, Joël Dicker on Yellowstone National Park, Alice Zeniter on the empty glitter of Las Vegas, Philippe Claudel on life among the Amish, and Philippe Besson on a road trip through the American heartland—as well as the work of many award-winning translators, including Sam Taylor, Sandra Smith, Rachael Small, Emma Ramadan, and Kate Deimling.
La Grande Librairie is devoted to the celebration of literature and is the most influential program in France in terms of book sales. Now in its twelfth season, Busnel has already hosted special episodes this year on Patrick Modiano, James Ellroy, and Vanessa Springora, author of the instant number one bestseller Le Consentement. Busnel was also extensively quoted in a major New York Times article on the publication of Springora’s book, which exposes the hypocrisy and corruption of French literary publishing. He is a powerful voice for reform and resistance in a generally traditional publishing landscape.
America has already been the subject of several pieces that have introduced the magazine to English readers, including a New Yorker piece by Lauren Collins from October 2017 and a more recent piece on Lit Hub by Olivia Snaije in November 2019. Individual issues of the magazine have also sneakily appeared in episodes of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale.
We are hoping to bring Busnel to the United States for appearances in conjunction with the French Cultural Services, including the annual Festival Albertine in November. There will be many opportunities for op-eds and related coverage around the 2020 election, and we will also pitch him for profiles as a major literary figure to know. We will also undertake a large buzz mailing to spread the word to major American Francophiles.