The Satirical Art of Claire Bretécher, Lampooning at its Finest

Nouvel Observateur, August 1997

Claire Bretécher was one of France’s most prominent socio-satirical comic strip authors for more than 4 decades. Bretécher is an icon in the world of bandes dessinées who has served as a role model to aspiring dessinatrices that dream of becoming successful cartoonists. Born in 1940, Bretécher broke into comics…

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Surviving A Massacre—Catherine Meurisse And Art’s Curative Power

Catherine Meurisse

Yesterday marked the 6-year anniversary of the savage terrorist attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. That morning, two gunmen killed 12 members of Charlie Hebdo’s staff and left 11 injured. I wrote about one of the courageous survivors, Coco, back in 2017. The word courageous, however, doesn’t do…

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Kiki de Montparnasse, Muse of A Thousand Faces — Part I

Photo of Kiki by Pablo Gargallo

There are many reasons why I love my public library and high on the list is its world language section. Over the years, regularly browsing the French stacks, I’ve often noticed the book Kiki de Montparnasse, by Catel Muller and José-Louis Bocquet. For whatever reason, the cover blurb never managed…

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Two Graphic Novels, Illuminating Memoirs from the Middle East that are Fun to Read

Panel from Persepolis

For most westerners, the Middle East is a frightening and poorly understood part of the world. It’s impossible to develop an appreciation for the diversity of its people, its rich history, and the range of life experience in the region if you only rely on western news reports. In the…

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Black Authors Matter, Marguerite Abouet’s Positive Images of African Life

Aya de Yopougon, Volume 1

Given the disturbing events of recent weeks, a new movement, labeled with the hashtag #BlackoutBestsellerList, encourages people to purchase books by black authors between now and June 20. The goal is to push black authors to the top of bestseller lists around the world. There are, of course, countless exceptional…

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Pierre Dragon Describes Life of French Anti-Terrorism Officer

RG used book cover.

Whenever I visit France or Quebec, I make it a point to visit as many bookstores as I can squeeze into my packed travel itinerary. Compared to the United States, the brick-and-mortar bookselling business is still thriving in France. The French people are not only buying books, they’re selling their books…

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