Revamped Guides for French/Francophone and Italian Literatures

decorative image

A recent overhaul of the two literary research guides for French and Francophone Literatures and Italian Literature & Criticism first created quite a long time ago will improve navigation and discovery in these vast print collections. Over the course of the past year, we have critically reviewed the former guides, weeded outdated resources, and replaced them with more current content with links to digital resources when available.

These two literature research guides are now benefiting from the LibGuides platform, which makes it much easier to revise than the former PDFs. Each guide is structured by sections for article databases, general guides and literary histories, reference tools, poetry, theater & performance, and literary periods. They interface seamlessly with related guides published by the UC Berkeley Library. For example, on the home page of each LibGuide, there is a prominent link to the lists of recently acquired publications in both French and Italian, making it even easier to stay current on new books in any particular call number range.

Because the guides are much easier to update, they encourage user interaction and invite community suggestions for inclusion (or deletion).

If you have time over the winter break, please take a whirl and let us know what you think. We’ll be unveiling a similar guide for Iberian Literatures & Criticism this spring!


New Book by Michael Lucey

What Proust Heard [book cover]

Michael Lucey offers a linguistic anthropological analysis of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

What happens when we talk? This deceptively simple question is central to Marcel Proust’s monumental novel In Search of Lost Time. Both Proust’s narrator and the novel that houses him devote considerable energy to investigating not just what people are saying or doing when they talk, but also what happens socioculturally through their use of language. Proust, in other words, is interested in what linguistic anthropologists call language-in-use.

Michael Lucey elucidates Proust’s approach to language-in-use in a number of ways: principally in relation to linguistic anthropology, but also in relation to speech act theory, and to Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology. The book also includes an interlude after each of its chapters that contextualizes Proust’s social-scientific practice of novel writing in relation to that of a number of other novelists, earlier and later, and from several different traditions, including Honoré de Balzac, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Nathalie Sarraute, and Rachel Cusk. Lucey is thus able to show how, in the hands of quite different novelists, various aspects of the novel form become instruments of linguistic anthropological analysis. The result introduces a different way of understanding language to literary and cultural critics and explores the consequences of this new understanding for the practice of literary criticism more generally.

[from publisher’s site]

Professor Lucey, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of French and Comparative Literature, discussed his recent book with Suzanne Guerlac on April 6 through the Townsend Center’s Berkeley Book Chats. The event was recorded and is available online.


What Proust Heard: Novels and the Ethnography of Talk.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022.


New Book and a Conversation with Suzanne Guerlac from the French Department

Check out this new book by Department of French faculty member Suzanne Guerlac, available in print and as an ebook through the online catalog.

book cover

Through an engagement with the philosophies of Marcel Proust’s contemporaries Félix Ravaisson, Henri Bergson, and Georg Simmel, author Suzanne Guerlac presents an original reading of Proust’s magnum opus, Remembrance of Things Past (A la recherche du temps perdu).

On Wednesday, March 10 from 12-1, Professor Guerlac will be a special guest on Berkeley Book Chats hosted online by the Townsend Center for the Humanities.

New publication by Nick Paige from the French Department

Check out this new book by Department of French faculty member Nicholas Paige, available in print and as an ebook through the online catalog.

book cover

From introduction:

“This book is about the evolution of French and to a lesser degree English novels – by which I mean French- and English-language novels – from 1601 to 1830. And while evolution is very much at the center of my preoccupations, I do not offer a “story” about that evolution. There is no plot, as we might want if we thought of the novel moving forward, perhaps from birth, episode by episode, toward a resolution, some happy state of stability – as if, in other words, the novel’s own history could be made into a kind of novel.”

“In lieu of a story, Technologies of the Novel offers a quantitative account of the ceaseless yet patterned flux of the novel system over these twenty-three decades.”

“Technologies of the Novel is, then, digital and distant; but it is most certainly not antianalogue or anticlose.”

French Literary Prize Winners 2019

French Literary Prize Winners 2019

France’s array of literary prizes offer a glimpse of emerging French and francophone writers, and also award accolades to the well-known. The winning titles with hyperlinks on this list provided by Amalivre in Paris are now available for check-out in UC Berkeley’s collection. To view the most recent book purchases across disciplines within French studies, please consult the recent acquisitions list in OskiCat.

Fall Awards Author Title Publisher
Governor General’s Literary Award (roman français) * Céline Huyghebaert Le drap blanc Le Quartanier
Grand prix de la littérature policière * Richard Morgiève Le Cherokee Joëlle Losfeld
Grand prix du roman de l’Académie Française * Laurent Binet Civilizations Grasset
Grand prix du roman métis * Laurent Gaudé Salina: les trois exils Actes sud
Prix Décembre * Claudie Hunziger Les grands cerfs Grasset
Prix de Flore Sofia Aouine Rhapsodie des oubliés La Martinière
Prix de la langue française * Louis-Philippe Dalembert Mur méditerranée Sabine Wespieser
Prix de la nouvelle de l’Académie française * Louis-Antoine Prat Belle encore et autres nouvelles Somogy
Prix des cinq continents de la francophonie * Gilles Jobidon Le tranquille affligé Leméac
Prix du roman FNAC * Bérengère Cournut De pierre et d’os Le Tripode
Prix Femina * Sylvain Prudhomme Par les routes Gallimard
Prix Femina essai * Emmanuelle Lambert Giono, furioso Stock
Prix Goncourt * Jean-Paul Dubois Tous les hommes n’habitent pas le monde de la même façon L’Olivier
Prix Goncourt des lycéens * Karine Tuil Les choses humaines Gallimard
Prix Guillaume Apollinaire (Poetry) * Olivier Barbarant Un grand instant Champ Vallon
Prix Interallié * Karine Tuil Les choses humaines Gallimard
Prix Landernau * Sylvain Prudhomme Par les routes Gallimard
Prix Médicis * Luc Lang La tentation Stock
Prix Médicis essai * Bulle Ogier & Anne Diatkine J’ai oublié Seuil
Prix Renaudot * Sylvain Tesson La panthère des neiges Gallimard
Prix Renaudot des lycéens * Victoria Mas Le bal des folles Albin Michel
Prix Renaudot essai * Eric Neuhoff (Très) cher cinéma français Albin Michel
Prix Senghor du premier roman francophone *
Ester Mann & Levon Minassian
Le fil des anges Vents d’ailleurs
Prix Wepler * Lucie Taïeb Les échappées Editions de l’Ogre
Other General Literary Prizes
Prix des Deux Magots (January) * Emmanuel de Waresquiel Le temps de s’en apercevoir L’Iconoclaste
Prix des Libraires (June) * Franck Bouysse Né d’aucune femme
La Manufacture de Livres
Grand prix de la francophonie de l’Académie Française *
Grand prix littéraire de l’Afrique noire (May) * Armand Gauz Camarade Papa Nouvel Attila
Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman (May) * Marie Gauthier Court vêtue Gallimard
Prix Goncourt de la nouvelle * Caroline Lamarche Nous sommes à la lisière Gallimard
Prix Ahmadou Kourouma (May) * David Diop Frère d’âme
Prix Goncourt de la poésie (May) * Yvon Le Men awarded for the body of his work
Prix Goncourt de la biographie (June) * Frédéric Pajak Manifeste incertain 7 Noir sur blanc
Prix Landernau Polar (May) * Thomas Canteloube Réquiem pour une République Gallimard
European Union Prize for Literature (auteurs français) * Sophie Daull awarded for the ensemble of her work Ed. Philippe Rey
Prix Mallarmé (Poetry) * Claudine Bohi Naître, c’est longtemps La tête à l’envers
Prix Orange (June) * Jean-Baptiste Maudet Matador Yankee Le Passage
Prix de l’Académie française Maurice Genevoix (June) * Jean-Marie Planes Une vie de soleil Arléa
Prix Ouest France Etonnants Voyageurs (June) * Anaïs Llobet Des hommes couleur de ciel Ed. de l’Observatoire
Prix des Lecteurs de L’Express (June) * Jean-Claude Grumberg La plus précieuse des marchandises Seuil
Prix Jean d’Ormesson (new 2018 –not restricted to living authors or new titles) * Julian Barnes La seule histoire (translated from the English) Gallimard
Grand Prix de Poésie de l’Académie française * Pierre Oster For the ensemble of his work
Prix de la Bibliothèque nationale de France (June) * Virginie Despentes For the ensemble of her work
Prix du livre Inter (June) * Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam Arcadie POL