After reading a thread about a book an expat wrote after living in France, I started to think about the kinds of works we find most easily when we want insight into another country. There are a lot of works about expats moving to another country and their wacky misunderstandings, lush travel narratives, WWII historical fiction, and some of the capital-C Classics by names it would be hard to have never heard of. At the same time, it can be hard to find works that are popular in France.
If anyone is ever interested in searching out recent French literature translated into English and isn't sure where to start, I'd highly recommend the Albertine website and bookstore. It's a project of the French embassy, and you can visit its gorgeous store in New York, or use their website and social media to get recommendations. The Albertine Prize is a good place to start - I recently finished the 2019 winner, Disoriental, which was fascinating, and have previously read Small Country and The Perfect Nanny, both of which were also great reads.
I think getting into a country's contemporary literature, either in translation or the original, can be yet another "back door." I also love that it's frequently complex and challenging. If you're someone who already feels comfortable with the "basics" of operating in French culture, it's such a good way to go more in-depth and see new perspectives.