Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    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)