Skip to main content

Distributed for University of Wales Press

French Fiction into the Twenty-First Century

The Return to the Story

The French novel’s “return to the story” in the last decades of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first is has been widely acknowledged in literary scholarship. But is this assessment accurate? With French Fiction in the Twenty-First Century, Simon Kemp looks at the work of five contemporary writers—Annie Ernaux, Pascal Quignard, Marie Darrieussecq, Jean Echenoz, and Patrick Modiano—in the context of the current French literary scene, and examines how far they pursue the innovations of their predecessors and just how far they have turned their backs on the era of experiment.

213 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2010

French and Francophone Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

University of Wales Press image

View all books from University of Wales Press


"In what is a clear and accessible book, Kemp affirms that current French fiction explores narrative possibilities in order to express new visions of the human condition and the world. . . . Recommended."—Choice


“This excellently conceived study pursues the idea of the ‘return to the story,’ a phenomenon that started to feature in French literary debate towards the end of the 1980s but has not yet been the subject of a book-length analysis. . . . [It is] a distinctive addition to contemporary reflections on where French fiction, and the novel in particular, might be heading.”

Shirley Jordan | French Studies

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface

Chapter One: Annie Ernaux and the Narrating of Time
Chapter Two: Pascal Quignard and the Fringes of Narrative
Chapter Three: Marie Darrieussecq and the Voice of the Mind
Chapter Four: Jean Echenoz and the Uses of Digression
Chapter Five: Patrick Modiano and the Problem of Endings
The Return to the Story

Select Bibliography

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press