Spotlight | Highlights, Beyond Words Festival, 2023 | Institut Français du Royaume Uni

This year’s Beyond Words Festival featured a great line-up from across the Channel. Throughout the week, the  Institut Français du Royaume Uni in South Kensington, London, was bustling with people eager to see their favourite French authors in conversation with their British counterparts discussing not only their latest books, but many things words and ideas from France, past and present.

The first event I attended was A Gallic Evening with Muriel Barbery, Antoine Laurain and Jean-Baptiste Andrea, chaired by Viv Groskop. Gallic Books publish “the very best of what the French are actually reading.”  Over the past decade, they have brought over one hundred authors to the British reading public.

Continue reading Spotlight | Highlights, Beyond Words Festival, 2023 | Institut Français du Royaume Uni

Podcast LIVE | In conversation with Fatima Daas, author of The Last One (in French & English)

An autobiographical first novel, The Last One tells the story of Fatima and her family. The confusing polarities between different worlds and cultures that are portrayed sparked an intense Media debate in France. Although based on true events and experiences, Fatima Daas changed certain aspects in order to be free to write what she wanted, and convey her feelings about specific events.

Tune in to hear a lively conversation with Fatima Daas and podcast host Georgia de Chamberet, about literary inspiration, handling her surprise overnight success, and the pressures directed at women from religion and from society, and more besides. The Last One is published in English, by HopeRoad Publishing. The interview is in both French and English.

Produced by BookBlast | Duration 26:25

The Last One by Fatima Daas, translated by Lara Vergnaud | HopeRoad Publishing | 192 pp 27 January 2022 | ISBN 978-1913109851


♥ We create podcasts for curious readers wanting to discover new books by storytellers from across the globe. To receive the latest episode and related news by email

Sign up

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, see our privacy policy.

How else do I subscribe to The BookBlast® Podcast?

There are several ways of subscribing to a podcast or series depending on the device you are using. Here are a couple of alternative suggestions . . .

Tune in and subscribe on the following platforms  

For Apple & iPhone users

Apple Podcasts

For iOS & Android users

Soundcloud | Spotify | Stitcher | Google | Podbean

If you’re having trouble with your third-party podcast application, best contact the manufacturer. You can find more information about subscribing to podcasts on PCs, Macs, iOS devices and Android devices on the PC Mag website.

© 2022. All rights reserved. The copyright to all the content of this site is held by the individual authors and creators. The content herein is only for your personal and non-commercial use. Format © BookBlast Ltd, London. Brief quotations and links may be used provided that you contact us via twitter DM @bookblast or email bookblastdiary [at] gmail [dot] com and the proposed use is fair dealing. Full and clear credit is to be given to the original author and creator, along with the source BookBlast® Ltd and with appropriate and specific direction. 

Links embedded in ‘Buy the book’ buttons are affilliate links. This means that if you make a purchase via this link we earn a few pennies. We only ever recommend books we truly believe in.

We do not run advertisements or sponsored content. The books included in our occasional giveaways, contests and promotions have been gifted, usually by friends in publishing, or the featured publishers and/or authors, not because we think BookBlast is a super influencer.


Guest Review | Turf Wars (2) Olivier Norek trs. Nick Caistor | MacLehose Press

Turf Wars is the second of Olivier Norek’s Captain Coste trilogy, set in the banlieues of Paris.

Spiralling Upwards

Norek has an unusual C.V. Born in Toulouse in 1975, he worked for a humanitarian charity in in the 1990s, and contributed to the re-construction of hospitals and refugee camps in Guyana and the former Yugoslavia. He then joined the French marines for two years, before becoming a policeman in 1997. After working in the police force in Paris for eighteen years, he started his fourth career: crime writer. To date, he’s published six novels and he was one of the writers for the sixth series of  Engrenages (Spiral).  Continue reading Guest Review | Turf Wars (2) Olivier Norek trs. Nick Caistor | MacLehose Press

Review | Men Don’t Cry, Faïza Guène | Cassava Republic Press

Imbued with her hallmark humour and heightened sensitivity, Faïza Guène’s Men Don’t Cry (Un homme, ça ne pleure pas) is her latest offering to lovers of good fiction in translation, deftly rendered into English by Sarah Ardizzone. We witness a family struggling with exile and integration as experienced by Mourad, born in Nice to Algerian parents.

He is keen to escape the clutches of his well-meaning but excessively controlling mother who imposes traditional ways of thinking and living on her three children – along with copious helpings of home-cooked food – handing down community values and morality in a bid to fend off the potentially corrupting influence of the host culture, and to impose order on the complexities of modern France. Continue reading Review | Men Don’t Cry, Faïza Guène | Cassava Republic Press

Guest Review | Sharif Gemie | Beirut 2020: The Collapse of a Civilization, a Journal – Charif Majdalani | Mountain Leopard Press

Remember the Great Fear of March 2020? Remember the empty supermarket shelves, stripped bare of pasta, loo-rolls and flour? Many Brits feared that this was the End of Civilization as We Know It, like in a horror film.

Charif Majdalani’s book is a useful corrective to such needless panics. Last year, people living in Beirut really did see the collapse of a civilization, and Beirut 2020 is a gripping, perceptive account of the process. Continue reading Guest Review | Sharif Gemie | Beirut 2020: The Collapse of a Civilization, a Journal – Charif Majdalani | Mountain Leopard Press

%d bloggers like this: