henry copeland: The French lurve books. pllqt.it/rwLKcw
Book coverage a la FrancaisIn the United States, there is one nationally broadcast radio program that has significant coverage of books — NPR’s “Fresh Air,” which book publicists fight over like pi-dogs over a picked bone. In Paris, I soon lost count of how many in-depth radio and TV shows, some as long as an hour, I taped or broadcast live at the circular, weirdly sci-fi-looking Maison de la Radio. I happened to be in France in September, during the rentrée littéraire — the opening of the literary season, when publishers release their big books — and the frenzy was palpable. And not just among the soi-disant elite, either. Lost in a strange neighborhood late one night, I approached a group of club kids for directions, only to overhear them arguing heatedly about which of the new crop of books would be that year’s “The Kindly Ones,” the Holocaust blockbuster that had come out the year before.