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Books & Translations


Blizzard by Marie Vingtras

Translated by Stephanie Smee
2024, Mountain Leopard Press, an imprint of Headline/Hachette(UK)

Winner of the Prix des Libraires/French Booksellers' Prize

As a blizzard rages in the vast, white expanse of the Alaskan wilderness, a woman walks alone with a child. No-one sees her as she stops to tie her laces. Seconds later the child has vanished.

In the snow, every minute counts. Soon, each of the very few neighbours joins the search to find the boy before it's too late. As the hunt intensifies, connections are made, secrets unearthed, and it seems that freezing to death is not the only danger they fear in this isolated edge of the world.


In Search of Perfumes by Dominique Roques

Translated by Stephanie Smee
2022, Mountain Leopard Press, an imprint of Welbeck Publishing (UK)

A fragrant journey across the world, revealing the beauty and mysteries of the perfume trade. Fruits, flowers, spices, bark, leaves, and branches are just some of the natural ingredients from the plant world that are used in the creation of perfume. Dominique Roques, travelling from Andalusia to Somaliland by way of Bulgaria, Laos, El Salvador, Indonesia and Egypt, describes his search to find the best natural ingredients, precious to perfumers everywhere.


A World with No Shore by Hélène Gaudy

Translated by Stephanie Smee
2022, Black Inc. (Aust)
BUY NOW Zerogram Press (US) BUY NOW

Summer 1930, Svalbard, Norway: a walrus-hunting boat sets sail for White Island, one of the last lands before the North Pole. The melting ice has revealed terrain that is usually inaccessible. As they move across the island, the men discover bodies and the remains of a makeshift camp. It is the solution to a mystery that has hung in the air for thirty-odd years: the disappearance in July 1897 of Salomon August Andrée, Knut Frænkel and Nils Strindberg as they tried to reach the Pole in a hydrogen balloon. Among the remains, some rolls of negatives are found and 100 images retrieved. Hélène Gaudy retraces and reimagines this great adventure that was blown off course, weaving in the painfully beautiful love affair between Nils and Anna.  Winner of the Prix François Billetdoux 2020, long listed for the Prix Goncourt and Shortlisted for the Prix Joseph Kessel.

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The Rome Zoo by Pascal Janovjak

Translated by Stephanie Smee
2021, Black Inc. (Aust)

The Rome Zoo: a place born of fantasy and driven by a nation's aspirations. It has witnessed - and reflected in its tarnished mirror - the great follies of the twentieth century. Now, in an ongoing battle that has seen it survive world wars and epidemics, the zoo must once again reinvent itself, and assert its relevance in the Eternal City. Caught up in these machinations is a cast of characters worthy of this baroque backdrop: a man desperate to find meaning in his own life, a woman tasked with halting the zoo's decline, and a rare animal, the last of its species, who bewitches the world. It is both a love story and a poignant juxtaposition of the human need to classify, to subdue, with the untameable nature of our dramas and anxieties. Winner of the Swiss Literature Award, the Prix Michel-Dentan and the Prix du public de la RTS.


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On the Line: Notes from a Factory by Joseph Ponthus

Translated by Stephanie Smee

2021, Head of Zeus (UK,US), Black Inc. (Aust)

This extraordinary work is unlike any you will have read and is the winner of numerous awards in France where it was first published. Unable to find a position in his chosen field, Joseph Ponthus ends up working as a casual worker in the food processing plants of Brittany. Eschewing punctuation, but returning to a new line with every phrase, his words mirror the relentlessness of the production line, yet somehow he offers us a place of grace in which to recognise our fundamental humanity amidst the exhaustion and the indignity. Tragically, Joseph died just weeks before the publication of the English edition of his work. Winner of Grand Prix RTL-Lire, Prix Régine Deforges, Prix Jean Amila-Meckert, Prix du premier roman des lecteurs des bibliothèques de la Ville de Paris, Prix Eugène Dabit du roman populiste.



The Inheritors by Hannelore Cayre

Translated by Stephanie Smee
2020, Black Inc.(Aust)


If you loved The Godmother, you will recognise Hannelore Cayre's razor-sharp style, sardonic humour and devilish creativity. 

Meet Blanche de Rigny who has just found out that her family tree has branches she didn't even know existed. As Blanche learns more about the legacy left by her wealthy Parisian ancestors, she decides a little family tree pruning might be in order. 

Spanning two centuries, from Paris on the eve of the Franco-Prussian war to the modern day, this unforgettable family saga lays bare the persistent and poisonous injustice of inequality. BUY NOW

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The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre

Black Inc, Australia & NZ; ECW Press, Canada & USA; Old Street, UK 2019  BUY NOW

Winner of the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Award 2020

Meet Patience Portefeux, the compelling protagonist of this superb crime fiction work by criminal lawyer and author, Hannelore Cayre. This is not the Paris you are used to reading about. Working as a French-Arabic legal translator, Patience is struggling to keep her head above water in a world of drug deals, police officers and traffickers. You won't forget Patience Portefeux in a hurry. Soon to be made into a movie starring Isabelle Huppert.

Winner of the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2017 & the Prix le Point du Polar Européen 2017

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No Place to Lay One's Head by Françoise Frenkel

with a preface by Nobel laureate, Patrick Modiano

Translated by Stephanie Smee

Winner of the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize, 2019

2017, Vintage Australia BUY NOW; 2018, Pushkin Press, UK  BUY NOW

Published in the USA as A Bookshop in Berlin by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2019 BUY NOW

Initially published in 1945 in Geneva, Frenkel's memoir recounts her years as owner of the first French language bookstore in Berlin in the 1920s before she is compelled to retreat to Paris in 1939 when life becomes untenable as a Polish Jewish woman and foreign business owner. In startlingly clear and sensitive prose, she bears witness to the unravelling of French society, her story turning into a tale of survival as she moves south from Paris, forced to take refuge with strangers while preparing an escape to Switzerland across the Alps. In 2015, French publishers Gallimard decided to republish this extraordinary account with a preface by Nobel laureate, Patrick Modiano. This is its first translation into English.

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Mikhail Strogoff by Jules Verne

Translated by Stephanie Smee

2016, Eagle Books

First published in French in 1876 as Michel Strogoff, this is the first new English language translation in a hundred years or so. It is a rip-roaring tale of advanture and suspense, painted with romance and humour and set in pre-revolutionary Russia.  French readers think it's one of Verne's best! Suitable for both adult and young readers from 11 and up, it is a book which has inspired countless film and TV adaptations all over the world. BUY NOW


The Adventures of Pelle No-Tail

The Further Adventures of Pelle No-Tail

Pelle No-Tail Pulls Through

by Gösta Knutsson

Translated by Stephanie Smee & Ann-Margrete Smee
2017, Piccolo Nero

Meet Pelle No-Tail – Sweden’s favourite cat!

Little Pelle has no tail – it was bitten off by a rat when he was a kitten! But he doesn’t let that bother him.

When Pelle leaves the farm where he was born and goes to live in the city, he meets lots of new friends and has all sorts of exciting adventures.

But he also meets the nasty tomcat Måns, who loves nothing better than to make life difficult for Pelle.... Gösta Knutsson's iconic tales translated into English for the first time! BUY NOW

Sophie’s Misfortunes by the Countess de Ségur

Translated by Stephanie Smee
2010, Simon & Schuster (Aust.)

First appearing in French as Les Malheurs de Sophie in the late 1850’s, mischievous Sophie is an icon of French children’s literature. Now your children, too, can enjoy the tales of trials and tribulations of young Sophie. This first volume in The Fleurville Trilogy will captivate every little girl who finds she can’t be perfect all the time.

Camille and Madeleine by the Countess de Ségur


Translated by Stephanie Smee
2010, Simon & Schuster (Aust.)


This is the second volume in the Fleurville Trilogy. Camille and Madeleine are two perfect little girls living with their mother at Château Fleurville. When Sophie comes to stay, she tries her best to behave as well as her friends. But being a perfect little girl proves to be more difficult than she imagined … BUY NOW


The Holidays by the Countess de Ségur

Translated by Stephanie Smee
2010, Simon & Schuster (Aust.)


Camille, Madeleine, Marguerite and Sophie eagerly await the arrival of their cousins for the long summer holidays. They pass the time with picnics in the forest and games of hide and seek. Then Marguerite’s father returns unexpectedly from distant lands … This is the third and final volume of the Fleurville Trilogy. BUY NOW

Monsieur Cadichon – Memoirs of a Donkey
by the Countess de Ségur


Translated by Stephanie Smee
2011, Simon & Schuster (Aust.)


First appearing in French in 1860 as Mémoires d’un âne, the story of the quick-witted, nimble-footed donkey, Cadichon, is an enduring favourite. Often underestimated and sometimes mistreated, he soon shows those who dare to cross him the error of their ways. Follow his hilarious adventures as he travels the French countryside, learning along the way that a sharp wit should be matched with a generous heart. BUY NOW



A Room at Guardian Angel Inn by the Countess de Ségur


Translated by Stephanie Smee
2012, Simon & Schuster (Aust.)


L’Auberge de l’Ange Gardien first appeared in 1863 in France. It is the endearing tale of two young boys, abandoned and left to fend for themselves, deep in the French countryside. When a soldier returning home stumbles upon them and brings them to the inn at the next village, who knows what their future will hold? This is the first of two books of misadventures, merrymaking and not a little mayhem that will ultimately take the boys far from their room at Guardian Angel Inn. BUY NOW



General Dourakine by the Countess de Ségur


Translated by Stephanie Smee
2013, Simon & Schuster (Aust.)


This is the sequel to A Room at Guardian Angel Inn in which the cantankerous but lovable General Dourakine brings his new-found French friends, Jacques and Paul, back to his grand estate in snowy Russia. Life becomes complicated when the General’s niece, the grasping Madame Papofsky and her eight unruly children descend on the house. BUY NOW

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