de Chamberet, Georgia
de CHAMBERET, Georgia
Agent—c/o Author Mail, BookBlast Ltd., P.O. Box 20184, London W10 5AU, England; fax: 020-8932-4087.
Writer, editor, anthologist, and literary agent.
(Editor) XCiTes: The Flamingo Book of New French Writing (originally published in French), Flamingo (London, England), 2000.
Contributor to publications such as the London Independent.
Editor Georgia de Chamberet presents an anthology of writing by some of the younger, fresher French literary voices of the early twenty-first century in XCiTes: The Flamingo Book of New French Writing. Originally published in French, the book contains English versions of short stories, novel excerpts, and extracts from a film screenplay that are translated by nine different translators. "Most of the selections in XCiTes give a picture of a new generation of French writers, some of whom are best sellers, although few are known in the English-speaking world," observed Adele King in World Literature Today. In her introduction, de Chamberet "argues that received ideas about French culture—its Left-Bank intellectualism, its chic fashion sense, its rootedness in 1968—are being subverted by a new generation of angry writers," many of whom are represented in the anthology, commented Gaby Wood in the Observer. With the stories in the book, de Chamberet, "a literary agent who works both sides of the Channel, is determined to rescue French literature from 'cold cerebrality and self-indulgent navel-gazing,'" remarked a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "While you may not get the kind of buzz that the editor intended, XCiTes at least shows that the next generation of French writers are tackling the stagnancy of their culture head-on," commented Beatrice Colin further in the Glasgow Sunday Herald.
Among the authors represented in the collection are Djibouti-born Abdourahman Waberi, Michele Houllebecq, Mathieu Kassovitz, Agnes Desarthe, and Ilan Duran Cohen. Many of the stories are set in bars and clubs, and deal bluntly with issues of illicit sex, plentiful drugs, and casually dispensed violence. Some of these stories present "nightlife as some kind of supreme resistance to the bourgeoisie," observed Wood. The inclusion of works by writers of African origin "reflects the changing ethnic face of France," Wood wrote. Other topics range from racism to father-son relationships to the brutality of inner-city life. XCiTes "serves as a useful introduction to a generation far removed from traditional French cultural and moral concerns," King remarked. "For anyone seriously interested in where the French novel may be going or in the world outside the Eurostar terminus, there are tasters here," noted Helen Stevenson in the Independent. "A lot isn't great writing, but it is vibrant and portrays areas of French life we often ignore."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), July 14, 1999, Helen Stevenson, "No Brie, but Lots of Ecstasy," p. 5.
Observer (London, England), August 15, 1999, Gaby Wood, review of XCiTes: The Flamingo Book of New French Writing, p. 14.
Publishers Weekly, December 18, 2000, review of XCiTes, p. 55.
Sunday Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), July 18, 1999, Beatrice Colin, "You May Have Beheaded All Your Aristocrats … but What Do You Do for an Encore?," p. 11.
Times Literary Supplement, August 20, 1999, Lucy Dallas, review of XCiTes.
World Literature Today, winter, 2001, Adele King, review of XCiTes, p. 143.*