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"The French Art of War": the new "Prix Goncourt" waits for you at Dibuka

As you might have read in a previous article, seasonal awards are a distinctive feature of French literature. Apart for (usually) being an enjoyable book, a novel which was awarded the prestigious “Prix Goncourt” is also a must-read in Paris, something you cannot skip if you want to hold your rank in dinners and parties. Nevertheless, Alexis Jenni's “The French Art of War” is everything except a mundane event. A rich, dense novel that reviews the “two decades of uninterrupted war in France” between WWII and the end of the Algerian “events”, it is also a daring book that dares to address one of the greatest challenges French contemporary society faces today: immigration.


In a classical, sometimes lyrical prose, Jenni intermingles adventures from the past and episode from today. The reader travels among the reminiscences of Vicotrien Salagnon, a retired French paratrooper, that go from the great tales of the “résistance” – where young French took arms against the German invader during WWII – to the squalid horror of the Algerian prisons, where those same heroes became invaders and tortured their opponents. Fast-paced and full of adrenaline, these souvenirs are balanced by slower, more contemplative episodes of France's today situation. Worn-out and impoverished, Salagnon has retired in a “banlieue”, a city periphery where migrants from all over the world – and especially from these same places where French used to fight – settle. A deep, emotional reflexion on war, its roots and its consequences inevitably arouse that leaves its reader sore and admiring altogether. “The French Art of War” is highly recommendable, and not only for the pleasure to tell you read the last Goncourt at the next cocktail.


Books - Dibuka

  • Dibuka

    Dibuka is revamping!

    Dibuka is revamping! Due to a delay in the renovation work, Dibuka will only re-open on the 18th of August 2018.We apologies for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. In the framework of its 15th anniversary, Dibuka is closed for renovation from the 16th of July 2018 to the 2nd of… Read more
  • donation-biblionef-RATP-201

    Dibuka receives books from the Fondation RATP and the Biblionef association

    Thanks to the Fondation RATP, also known as the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens which is a state-owned public transport operator headquartered in Paris, France, the Biblionef association, a book donation non-profit organisation based in France and the French Institute of South Africa, Media… Read more
  • Dibuka

    The Rentrée Littéraire Comes to Dibuka!

    Discover a selection of books from the Rentrée Litteraire at Dibuka Library, the multimedia portal to French culture in Johannesburg. For the uninitiated the Rentrée Littérraire is the period of the year in France between August and November when publishing houses release most of their books as it… Read more

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Littératures africaines


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