Interview with Louise Noblet-César editor in charge of the foreign literature department at Fayard
A former student of the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm), with a degree in Modern Literature, Louise Noblet-César was first an editorial assistant at Flammarion and later at Denoël. Today she is the editor in charge of the foreign literature department at Fayard.
Fayard has many Italian titles in its catalogue. How has the publishing house evolved in this field in recent years?
Our catalogue includes famous Italian authors such as Andrea Camilleri, Fabio Genovesi and Dario Fo. In recent years, we have concentrated our efforts on publishing the work of Domenico Starnone: in addition to the publication of his last four novels, Ties (2019), Trick (2021), Trust (March 2023) and Vita mortale e immortale della bambina di Milano, which will be released in 2024, we also plan to introduce the French-speaking public to older novels in the coming years, such as Autobiografia erotica di Aristide Gambìa, which was published in Italy in 2014. Our goal is to make this brilliant author known in France. This doesn’t prevent us from also defending new Italian voices, such as Letizia Pezzali, whose novel, Fedeltà, we published in 2021.
A few words about your publishing plans in the Italian field and the criteria that guided your choices.
Like the rest of our foreign literature collection, we try to publish authors who will become tomorrow’s classics, based on the talent in their writing and their attention to style, but also based on how they shed a unique light on their time and offer a contemporary view of Italy. Domenico Starnone is a perfect example. We are always on the lookout for new authors.
Have Fayard ever benefited from translation grants from Italian public institutions? By this I mean both the grants awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the network of embassies and cultural institutes, and the new Cepell (Centre for Books and Reading) scheme.
Yes. For example, we used the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for the publication of Confidenza by Domenico Starnone. We are also delighted that the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris invited the author to launch his new novel in March 2023.