Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

France

France's top literary prize goes to Pierre Lemaitre

© AFP

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-04

French novelist Pierre Lemaitre has won France's most prestigious annual literary award, the Prix Goncourt, for World War I epic 'Au revoir là-haut', a jury announced on Monday.

France's top literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, went to French novelist Pierre Lemaitre for his World War I epic 'Au revoir là-haut' (Goodbye Up There), a jury announced on Monday.

Lemaitre's oeuvre received six votes, handing the novelist a narrow victory over Frederic Verger, who took four votes for his first novel, 'Arden'.

'Au revoir là-haut' tells the sweeping tale of two young veterans, Albert and Edouard, who represent France's lost generation in the years following World War I.

Lemaitre, 62, was one of the favourites to take the prize, which can boost sales by 300,000 to 400,000 copies.

Jury members hailed Lemaitre for capturing the "continuing horror" of post-war life and praised his "cinematic" writing style.

Successful crime writer

It was the first Goncourt win for longtime crime writer Lemaitre and his first non-genre work after a series of successful thrillers.

He is best known among English-language readers for the translation of his thriller "Alex", which took the 2013 CWA International Dagger award.

"I'm the happiest man on earth. This is a unique moment in a writer's career," Lemaitre told AFP after the win.

He said the award was recognition of "the skill that comes from crime writing, from popular fiction".

Lemaitre's Goncourt win comes amid a surge in interest in World War I ahead of next year's 100th anniversary of the start of conflict.

The lesser-known Renaudot literary prize went to Yann Moix for "Naissance" (Birth), a 1,200-page epic on the often-difficult relationship between parents and their children.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-11-04

  • LITERATURE

    Corsican saga wins France's Goncourt literary prize

    Read more

  • FRANCE - CULTURE

    Biology teacher wins top French literary prize

    Read more

  • LITERATURE

    Michel Houellebecq wins France’s top literary award

    Read more

COMMENT(S)