An encouraging article by Dalya Alberge in The Observer marks the first publication in English of one of the “Novels of the night” (romans de la nuit) by Frédéric Dard. The much anticipated Bird in a Cage, (Le Monte Charge), translated by David Bellos, is out this month, published by Pushkin Vertigo.
While recognising the oddity that the books of one of France’s foremost crime fiction authors (better known under the penname San-Antonio) have been overlooked until now by English-language publishers, the article sees current trends and taste in the crime genre as particularly suited to the discovery of his psychological thrillers by British readers. Tout vient à point à qui sait attendre, as the saying goes, and now seems at least to look like “ a particularly good time for Dard’s novels to be coming into English”. The next translation, The Wicked Go to Hell (Les Salauds vont en enfer) will be published in August, followed in October by Crush (Les Scélérats). Both novels were adapted to the screen : the first starring, memorably, Marina Vlady, in 1955, the other (English title, The Wretches) with the great Michelle Morgan in 1960.