French language authors for beginners

lansing   Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:03 pm GMT
Can anyone out there who knows French (native speakers or learners) recommend some French language authors for beginners/intermediates? I'm not ready for Proust, but can handle someone with a straightforward style. (Especially good would be a lots of dialogue.) Any nationality (French, Belgian, Quebecois, etc.) or form (novels or short stories, etc.): any recommendations would be appreciated.
K. T.   Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:25 pm GMT
Why not try some bilingual books of short stories to start out?
Google this and see what you think.

French Short Stories 2: Parallel Text (Parallel Text, Penguin) (Paperback)
Ryan   Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:31 pm GMT
When I took French in high school the first book that the class had to read was Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "Le Petit Prince." There is plenty of dialogue in it if I remember right.
greg   Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:28 pm GMT
Marguerite Yourcenar.
K. T.   Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:26 am GMT
Those are both good suggestions, but the levels are very different. Ryan's suggestion will be good if you are really a bit of a beginner. Greg's suggestion will be good if you really like to see how a good author writes in French.
lansing   Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:39 am GMT
What about authors like Simenon or Pagnol? (Or someone similar.)
K. T.   Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:57 am GMT
Le Château de ma mère: I haven't read it, but I've seen the film (it's widely available) and it's beautiful. Maybe if you see the film and read the book, it won't be too difficult.
Guest   Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:24 am GMT
Why not just read newspapers, magazines, websites, etc., instead of literature?

I never understood why French teachers always required us to read (usually old and/or boring) literature, rather than current publications.
lansing   Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:56 am GMT
"Why not just read newspapers, magazines, websites, etc., instead of literature?"

Newspaperes, magazines, etc. are okay. But if you're looking for something that shows how people really speak, then fiction with a lot of dialogue seems better to me. (Not to mention that in French they may actually use a different tense in narrative than in dialogue.)

I'm not talking about "Literature" with a capital "L." Modern "light" fiction (e.g., a good, lengthy police novel, or comedy, or even a young adult novel) would be preferable.

And as been mentioned elsewhere, sticking with one book (or even several books by the same author) is more efficient than jumping around between articles or stories by authors with different styles.