London’s French expats get their own library
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Friday 08 November 2013
Forget dog-eared Barbara Cartlands. A small London library has twinned with a counterpart in Paris to offer modern French-language classics from authors including Michel Houellebecq to appeal to the capital’s huge population from across the Channel.
The Church Street Library in Westminster hopes to attract French expats after it struck an entente cordiale with the Place des Fêtes library in Paris. The two libraries have already swapped 150 books.
The public library has received novels in French such as Houellebecq’s Les Particules Élémentaires – translated as Atomised in English – as well as works by JMG Le Clézio and Frédéric Beigbeder. It also has translations of works originally published in English, such as Harry Potter et Les Reliques De La Mort.
Julie Gadault, a librarian at Church Street who masterminded the partnership, said: “We now have a really good stock of modern novels, which will be extended to children’s books.” London is now France’s fifth largest city by population, with 400,000 French people.
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
- 5 Paracetamol Challenge: Mother of girl killed by overdose pleads with teenagers not to take part
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
Grace of Monaco film panned: Screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman as movie gets US debut
Suicide Squad: leaked footage shows first look at Batmobile chasing Joker through city streets
ASAP Rocky sparks outrage with misogynistic lyrics about Rita Ora in new song 'Better Things'
'I was raped as a child, and only now can I tell my story': How James Rhodes fought the law courts in a battle to be heard
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote