French Tradition: La Rentrée Littéraire

The rentrée littéraire is a practice adopted by French publishers, characterised by a large number of new book releases (all styles and genres mixed together) and takes place every year between late August and early November. The majority of literary accolades are also awarded during this period.

Publishers print more books than the market can physically handle to create visual impact, filling bookshop shelves and ensuring good end of year sales. Every rentrée littéraire is defined by this sense of overproduction. During the 2014 rentrée littéraire, 607 books were released. Most works are only sold for a few weeks and half of these titles are left unsold, later recycled into shipping boxes.

Every year, the rentrée littéraire is the chance to discover new French authors. So why not take the time to peruse around a bookshop or two!