Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Music show: Duck Duck Grey Duck, Femi Kuti, Starchild & the New Romantic

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Greek Cypriot negotiator: 'We stand a chance' of reunifying Cyprus

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Towards a European army? The future of defence for the EU

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Photographer Pete Souza shares his ‘portrait’ of Obama

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Syria's White Helmets: 'We had 400 casualties last week'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Donald Trump Jr.'s India visit raises eyebrows

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Weaving with water hyacinths, the archives of Syria's war, and more

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

How a Sudanese man saved his kidnapped brothers in Libya, and more

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Never again': Florida school students become new face of US gun reform

Read more

Culture

Michel Houellebecq wins France’s top literary award

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-09

The best-selling author Michel Houellebecq, known for his blunt depictions of alienation and male angst, has won France's most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, for his new novel, a satire of the Paris art world.

AFP -  France's best-known living writer, Michel Houellebecq, won the country's top literary award, the Goncourt Prize, on Monday for his best-selling satire "The Map and the Territory", the prize committee announced.

The honour was overdue for fans of Houellebecq, who came close to winning in 1998 and 2005 but has divided readers and critics with edgy, sex-fuelled satires that have drawn accusations of obscenity and racial provocation.
   
Houellebecq, 52, is the best-known French writer abroad, chronicler of modern male angst with novels such as such as "Atomised" and "Platform" -- a sex-tourism romp with an Islamist terrorism theme which landed him in court.
   
The 2010 prize winner was announced at the chic Drouant restaurant in Paris by the Goncourt panel of literary bigwigs who voted seven to two in his favour.
   
"La carte et le territoire" (The Map and the Territory), one of four finalists, satirises the Paris art world in the tale of Jed Martin, an artist who gains global fame by photographing old Michelin maps.
   
It softens the misanthropic tone of his four previous novels, but skewers with dry humour a number of real-life personalities, even featuring a drunken, stinking, badly-dressed writer named Michel Houellebecq.
   
It has garnered enthusiastic reviews -- Liberation newspaper called it a "masterpiece" -- and sales have stayed buoyant despite a row last month over accusations of plagiarism, which the author has dismissed as "ridiculous".
   
The cut-and-paste claim centred on three factual passages that were apparently lifted almost word-for-word from Wikipedia, the user-generated online encyclopedia.
   
The author has dismissed the accusation, arguing that mixing "real" texts into fiction was a technique countless writers have used.

Date created : 2010-11-08

  • LITERATURE

    NDiaye becomes first black woman to win top French book award

    Read more

COMMENT(S)