52 Serial Shorts: Short stories by top French writers

52 Serial Shorts cover

Beware! Writers on the loose.

Seven of France’s top authors got together to play a collaborative writing game resulting in fifty-two wacky stories. They each wrote an episode, passing it on to the other, and so forth, until all seven had contributed to each story. They set traps, had fun, and used their prowess to continue and conclude each story. The result is this collection of short stories: some are zany, some are clever, some are just plain weird, but all show the incredible creative skill of these seven very fine writers.

It is surrealistic, literally. This kind of collaborative writing–what could be more in line with the times?–dates back to a writing game invented by the French Surrealists in about 1925, called cadavres exquis. The direct translation is delightfully morbid: exquisite (or delicious, if you prefer) corpses. These corpses are not, in fact, not to decaying bodies, but entertaining seven-author stories that showcase true writing skill, mixing the styles, feelings and predilections of each author.


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Seven literary legends (© Julien Magre for Play Bac)

Seven literary legends (© Julien Magre for Play Bac)

Book Info

52 Serial Shorts

by Harold Cobert, Irène Frain, Christine Orban, Daniel Picouly, Yann Queffélec, Tatiana De Rosnay, Didier Van Cauwelaert; translated by Anne Trager—published by Le French Book—First published in French (52 cadavres exquis, by Play Bac Paris)—Direct-to-digital translation; ebook exclusive—Published as 13 four-story ebooks.

The authors

Tatiana de Rosnay, Didier Van Cauwelaert, Yann Queffélec, Daniel Picouly, Christine Orban, Irène Frain and Harold Cobert are a hard-hitting group of literary giants, which includes two Goncourt prizewinners and one of France’s most-read authors. They have written among them upwards of 175 acclaimed works of literature. Find out more about these seven top French authors.