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.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies