This collection of French short stories in translation expands our idea of French writing by including new stories by women writers and by authors of Francophone origin. Spanning the centuries from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth, the collection opens with a rumbustious tale from the Marquis de Sade, takes in the masters of the nineteenth century, from Stendhal and Balzac to Maupassant, and reaches to Quebec, Africa, and the French Caribbean in the twentieth century. Women writers include relatively well known figures such as Renee Vivien, Colette, and Beauvoir, and newer writers such as Assia Djebar, Christiane Baroche, and Annie Saumont. The French short story is a rich and diverse medium, but all the stories selected share a common characteristic: they make exciting reading.
This study introduces the English-speaking reader to a range of contemporary French women's writing. The first section discusses the cultural conditions which led to an explosion of new writing by women in the 1970s, examining the impact of the emergence of second-wave feminism both on what women have written and how it has been received. This is followed by selections from the work of seven women writers, many translated for the first time, together with introduction of their work. Elizabeth Fallaize is the author of The Novels of Simone de Beauvoir.