Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    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)