For the fourth year, the Quais du Polar festival and the Institut français organize together in Leipzig, within the context of the city’s Book Fair, an event that aims to highlight French-speaking detective literature writers to the German public. This project will take form in March 2020 as “Krimi à la française”.


This year, the experience repeats in Leipzig but also in Berlin where, on Friday, March 13th, two French authors, Hannelore Cayre and Ian Manook, and the Swiss writer Nicolas Verdan will take part in a “Krimi à la française” evening at the Institut français. The day after, they will join Leipzig Book Fair where they will meet up with the the Belgian-Turkish author Kenan Görgün and two French publishers. There, they will sign their novels on the Institut français’ and their own German publishers’ stands. A round-table about “polar” translation will study noir literature specificities. The guests will then go to the MoritzBastei, in the heart of Leipzig, for a Night of the French-speaking polar/Frankophone Kriminacht. The programme includes discussions, lectures, book signings and round tables giving voices to invited authors about specific themes of current tendencies of French detective literature.

The authors are chosen by their German publishers for their literary freshness in Germany.


More broadly, this operation is the occasion to highlight the French-speaking detective novel writers in Germany via the broadcasting, before the event, to the media but also to the German publishers likely to publish them, of a selection of authors and books still not translated in Germany, in partnership with the Institut français’s Bureau du Livre.

Quais du polar and South Korea

Quais du Polar and the Institut français collaborate around detective literature for a round-trip between Seoul and Lyon, in order to create bridges between those two countries’ “noir” cultures. Writers and publishers will take the trip.


Korea in Lyon

In April, in Lyon, Quais du Polar will welcome a discovery focus about South Korea through 3 invited authors – Pyun Hye-young, Seo Mi-ae, Kim Un-su –, noir films screening, publishers and literary partners taking part to Polar Connection.

Quais du Polar in Korea

In June, within the context of the Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF), French authors and publishers will go represent France different noir literature tendencies in the Land of Morning Calm. Maxime Chattam, Karine Giébel, Benoît Philippon and Olivier Truc, whose books are translated in South Korea, will undertake the mission! Inspired by those visits, the SIBF schedules a “Crime Fiction” topic. Part of the manifestation will be dedicated to dark literature and detective genre, during meetings, lectures and signing sessions. Some publishers will also participate in the event, still under way with our partners from the Institut français of Seoul, from the Korean Publishers Association (KPA), the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI)…

City investigation in Seoul

The Quais du Polar’s City investigation has already inspired investigations in Leipzig or even Palermo, always supported by the festival’s team and loyal to the spirit of the original version.

This time, aspiring detectives will throng Seoul streets in Gangnam neighbourhood, where the SIBF is held, in order to resolve an investigation written by Seo Mi-ae, a very popular detective novels author in Korea, invited to Quais du Polar in April.

Quais du Polar and the France-Romania season

In 2019, the France-Romania cultural season was the opportunity for the Quais du Polar festival to contribute to introduce the literary and cinema riches of – and in! – both countries, especially through detective genre. Three projects were organized over past year, in collaboration with Bucharest National Museum of Romanian Literature and the Institut français of Romania.


Four-hand novel

A collaborative writing project between two young authors, the Romanian Lucian-Dragos Bogdan and the French Jacky Schwartzmann, had begun during 2018 autumn. The publisher Tritonic in Romania and the publisher La Fosse aux Ours in France (more precisely in Lyon!) accompanied the authors in this project, by defining, with the different partners, the format and the topics. The writers chose to start from an actual news item and to write the chapters individually and successively. Le Coffre, an alternation of episodes written by the two of them, was published in June 2019. Available in all fine bookstores!

All details about this four-hand novel here.

The Romanian “polar” in Lyon

During its 15th edition, the festival also programmed a “discovery focus” with Romanian authors who intervened in conferences and film screenings. Several Romanian publishers were also invited to discuss with book and publishing professionals during Polar Connection’s encounters.

Quais du Polar in Bucharest

At last, Quais du Polar accompanied the 1st edition of a new festival dedicated to the “polar” genre, “The Mysteries of Bucharest”, from June 7th to 9th, 2019, with partners of the National Museum of Romanian Literature, the Institut français of Bucharest and the Theatre of Romanian Playwrights. Visitors could enjoy a highlight of French authors invited – Julie Ewa, Johana Gustawsson, Bernard Minier and Jean-Christophe Rufin – noir films screenings, shows, signing sessions, etc.

You can find the whole programme here.