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French Language & Literature

Library resources for French language & literature classes

What is Francophone Literature?


  • France
  • French-speaking Belgium
  • French-speaking Switzerland
  • Luxembourg

The Maghreb:

  • Algeria
  • Tunisia
  • Morocco

Francophone literature from the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) is quite distinctive in both its tone and its preoccupations. It emerged as a literature of decolonisation in the post-1945 period when, for the first time, indigenous Maghrebi writers began to publish their work in significant numbers. (Cambridge Introduction to Francophone Literature, p.27)


  • Quebec

This standard version of the narrative that portrays the centre–periphery model being challenged and overthrown appears to be of questionable relevance to Quebec. Yet on closer examination it transpires that a similar challenge to the centre–periphery power relationship is precisely what does occur in francophone Quebec, even if the struggles involved in bringing about that revolution sometimes take on forms that bear little resemblance to those that occurred in other regions of the world. Fundamentally, however, the issues remain the same. The patterns of power relations and status that often characterise the postcolonial context, and which are inscribed in a variety of ways in postcolonial literatures, are omnipresent in Quebec society and literature, as are the range of issues to do with identity, language, gender and intercultural dynamics. Yet in Quebec the roles often seem to be assigned in rather ‘unorthodox’, paradoxical and sometimes confusing ways. (Cambridge Introduction to Francophone Literature, p. 138)

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Republic of the Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Togo

Such diversity in climate, landscape, population and traditions argues against any attempt to present the region as a single unit when considering its literature. Even when approached as individual countries each with a supposedly ‘national’ literature, the question of diversity remains problematic.... This tension between a unifying metropolitan vision and African diversity is present at all levels when we attempt to discuss francophone African literature. (Cambridge Introduction to Francophone Literature, p. 75-76)


  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Haiti
  • Martinique

...literature from the French Caribbean obsessively explores issues relating to identity. Indeed, the interrogation of identity and how, in a context dominated by oral traditions, it may usefully be reconstituted and configured in literature are omnipresent and urgent preoccupationsamong francophone Caribbean writers. (Cambridge Introduction to Francophone Literature, p. 180)

Introductions to Francophone Literature



Canada (Quebec)




Sub-Saharan Africa & the Carribean

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