The French are coming! The French are coming!
Fred Vargas' The Ghost Riders of Ordebec, translated by Sian Reynolds, and Pierre Lemaitre's Alex, translated by Frank Wynne, were named joint winners this week of the International Dagger Award for translated crime fiction by the Crime Writers' Association in the UK. The news release announcing the award says the CWA plans to establish a French chapter "in the near future."
Wynne, Lemaitre, and fellow French authors Antonin Varenne and Xavier-Marie Bonnot attended Bristol's Crimefest 2013 along with your humble blogkeeper, so perhaps French crime writing is about to start enjoying a higher profile in the UK and then, perhaps, in America (Alex is to be released in the U.S. in September.)
Whatever its profile in the UK at large, French crime writing has enjoyed an outsize profile at the Daggers. This year marked the fifth time in the International Dagger's eight-year history that the award had gone to a French novel or novels. The award was the fourth for Vargas/Reynolds, following on The Three Evangelists in 2006, Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand in 2007, and The Chalk Circle Man in 2009. Dominique Manotti's Lorraine Connection, translated by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz, was the other French winner, in 2008.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013