America: An Anthology of France and the United States

Edited by François Busnel. Black Cat, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-8021-4934-3
Busnel presents a fine anthology of essays originally published in the French quarterly America, from both French writers (whose pieces are rendered into English by a slew of translators) and Americans, that give perspectives on the contemporary U.S. Joël Dicker’s encounter with a bear opens into a history of Yellowstone Park, while Philippe Coste’s trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., broadens into an encounter with the American evangelical movement. Two pieces by Americans, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich and Richard Powers, discuss, respectively, trans and environmental concerns, while French novelist Leïla Slimani recounts a book tour (charmingly dubbing herself “Mlle Gulliver en Amérique,” Mary McCarthy’s nickname for Simone de Beauvoir during the latter’s American grand tours) during which she witnesses social changes wrought by the #MeToo movement. Busnel’s own piece vividly records an encounter between Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe, “two princes of nonfiction,” not long before Wolfe’s death. The writers’ varied approaches mean that, even for readers familiar with the issues at play, the pieces will be consistently entertaining. As such, an American audience should lap up this thought-provoking tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/13/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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