His response to the Paris terror attacks has left the French president increasingly isolated and unpopular
The nation’s intellectuals are being roiled by issues of immigration, sovereignty and freedom of expression
The leaders of the Républicains avoid Le Pen’s coarse language, but many offer similar immigration policies
Patrick Marnham unravels some of the powerful, often conflicting myths surrounding the French Resistance
In 1975 the Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, in a lecture at the University of Massachusetts, identified Joseph Conrad’s Heart of…
Destiny is calling Nicolas Sarkozy. But it’s not clear whether he’s heading back to the Elysée – or to jail
By 1940 Irène Némirovsky, who had arrived in France at the age of 16 as a refugee from Kiev, had…
The full series of the Maigret novels, together with some of the romans durs, are being republished by Penguin Classics at a rate of one per month. Patrick Marnham salutes a magnificent long-term project.
The desperate state of its politics seems to signal the end of the Republic
Everyone knows about the Spanish civil war, first battlefield in the struggle that broke out in 1936 and ended nine…
In January 1976 New York’s late-lamented National Lampoon produced a bicentennial calendar as a contribution to the general rejoicing. For…
Even the dashing intervention in Mali might not she the French President
Of the making of many books about J. Robert Oppenheimer there is apparently no end. There have been 23 previous…
Outsiders have added gaiety to the presidential election, but French voters feel that serious issues are being ignored
There’s nothing like a crisis to rescue an ailing candidate
The most remarkable thing about this book is that it should have been published at all. No one could have…
Kisangani, capital of the province of Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo, once Zaire, is the setting for A Bend in the River, V.S.
Africa is the setting for several of V. S. Naipaul’s finest fictional stories — In a Free State, A Bend in the River, Half a Life.
About 100 years ago two brothers settled in the same small English town and raised 12 children.
The scandal over Liliane Bettencourt’s L’Oréal fortune is exposing the way French high society operates, says Patrick Marnham. And it is harming President Sarkozy in the polls
The French president’s chances of re-election look bleak. But the problem is not his politics, says Patrick Marnham, so much as his embarrassing personal life
‘I never knew peaceful times’, Irène Némirovsky once said, ‘I’ve always lived in anxiety and often in danger’.
With the opening paragraph of The Dogs and the Wolves (first serialised in France in 1939 and never previously translated) Irène Némirovsky takes us to the heart of her story: the complexities of Jewish life in eastern Europe and France in the first part of the 20th century.
Patrick Marnham visits Brazil’s annual festival of literature
The Kindly Ones, by Jonathan Littell, translated from French by Charlotte Mandell