French translation rights sold: ‘Die kleinste ramp denkbaar’ by Francois Smith

Actes Sud has acquired French translation rights to Die kleinste ramp denkbaar by Francois Smith, originally published by Tafelberg, an imprint of NB Publishers, in 2020 in South Africa, where it was hailed a literary highlight of the year and a significant moment in the development of Afrikaans literature.

Taken at a glance, it is a story about a good doctor and a crooked cop . . . When policeman Frans Schuin, suffering from a tick bite, is treated by district doctor Gustav van Aardt, the latter’s strict, orderly life begins to unravel. It is set in a small town in the Free State province of South Africa and delves deeply into the psyche of Gustav van Aardt – allowing the reader a very close look, for better or for worse.

Founded in 1978, Actes Sud is a well-established and esteemed French publishing house. Its list includes literary heavyweights from across the globe, including Svetlana Alexievich, Paul Aster, Stieg Larsson, and Cormac McCarthy. Notable Afrikaans authors include Breyten Breytenbach, André P. Brink, Antjie Krog and Dominique Botha.

Francois Smith teaches Afrikaans literature and creative writing at the University of the Free State. He is the author of Kamphoer (Tafelberg, 2014), a bestselling historical novel, widely praised as a literary accomplishment. It was awarded the ATKV Prose Prize in 2015 and saw a Dutch, English and French translation follow the original Afrikaans.  Smith’s third novel, Die getuienis (Tafelberg, 2021), was recently released after it won second prize in NB Publishers’ Great Afrikaans Novel Competition in manuscript form.

Die kleinste ramp denkbaar (The smallest disaster imaginable)

World excluding Afrikaans and French rights available.

Please contact Catrina with your rights queries.

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