You may have noticed the term “la rentrée” popping up in your French circles lately. By itself, this refers to the return to post-summer routines in work and in school. When paired with littéraire, it morphs into something a little more specific.

La rentrée littéraire refers to the period between late August and November when many French books are published. This is when heavy-hitting favorite authors and first-time publishers alike tend to release their latest works. This year, over 550 books are being published in France within the three-month period.

Why the flood of books? La rentrée littéraire is also the race to French literary awards including the prestigious Prix Goncourt, Prix Femina, Prix Renaudot, and the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie Française. These long-standing prizes were all established before the 1930s; notably, the Goncourt began in 1903 and the all-female jury of the Femina in 1904. Starting in mid-September, juries will start announcing titles that have made their shortlist, building suspense over the months before the winner is announced right before the holiday season.

This year, several well-known authors are once again throwing their hats into the ring. Some of the most recent acquisitions at the library include the newest Maylis de Kérangal, Alain Mabanckou, Serge Joncour, Yasmina Khadra, and (of course) the prolific Amélie Nothomb, a staple of la rentrée who publishes a novel at this time every year. The 2018 rentrée littéraire also has the most debut works since 2007, with a whopping 94 new authors joining the literary rat race.

La rentrée littéraire is the season to discover new favorites and trends in French literature. Swing by our library or click over to Culturethèque to pick a book from 2018’s rentrée littéraire and be sure to come back for September’s bouillon de lectures organized around these books on Thursday, September 20th!

If you've enjoyed this post, please let us know by commenting or sharing!

Ingrid began her passion for French through the immersion program in Milton, MA, and has followed it around France and the world. She took a break from this first love to pursue a B.A. in English with a minor in Irish Studies at Boston College and a Masters of Library and Information Sciences at Simmons College. She is thrilled to meld her excitement for libraries and French language and culture in her position at the Center!

See All Posts

Related Posts

Bonne rentrée à la bibliothèque !

September is here, meaning la rentrée is upon us! Over the summer, we made some exciting changes to make the library work better for you. Read on to catch up, and come by to see for yourself!

Read More

Favorite movies for French learning

Looking for ways to keep up your French this summer? Check out our recommended movies for French learners!

Read More

The Best of French on Youtube for Kids and Teens

YouTube is a whole wide world of children’s entertainment. Watching videos en français with your child makes screen time also learning time! The best part:…

Read More

Upcoming Events

Exhibition

Art on Science: 26 études Opening Reception

Gallery Opening with Boston/Strasbourg Sister City Association

Friday, September 20, 2019 6:30 PM To 8:30 PM

Join us for the launch of our fall cultural programs with an intriguing gallery opening presented in partnership with the Boston/Strasbourg Sister City Association.

Read More
Concert

Fall Concert: Voice and Guitar

Boston and French Composers

Saturday, September 21, 2019 7:00 PM To 9:00 PM

Join us on a musical journey from the scenes of a poetic French café and countryside, to the gardens and landscapes of Spain and America in our upcoming concert featuring French and American composers.

Read More
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 6:00 PM To 7:30 PM

Seeking opportunities to speak French? Join us in our beautiful library for our popular members-only conversation gathering.

Read More