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Other Prizes > French Book Prizes

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message 1: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1859 comments Mod
Please help us learn more about past and present French Prizes! Happy to split this into a folder if it gets to be unwieldy as a single thread.


message 2: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 115 comments I know of three major annual book prizes here, though I don't follow them in the way that some of your do, and so can't provide you with lists of favorites and nominees.

The best known is probably the Prix Goncourt (
list of winners here
).
I've read the Gracq and the Houellebecq, both of which I found underwhelming (I actively hated the Houellebecq). I liked much better the Mondiano and the Duras, and I'm reading the first volume of the Proust right now. I think the list is a pretty good index to important modern and contemporary French literature, even if readers won't necessarily love every title on it.

There's also the Prix Femina, which is worth a look, and the Prix du Livre Inter, which is tied to the public radio channel France Inter, and which is a slightly younger prize.

That should at least do for a start.


message 3: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2629 comments Wikipedia: Of the "big six" French literary awards, the Prix Goncourt is the best known and most prestigious. The other major literary prizes are the Grand Prix du Roman de l'Academie Francaise, the Prix Femina, the Prix Renaudot, the Prix Interallie and the Prix Medicis.

But there are loads more! And being Wikipedia, that won't even be all of them.

I tend to get mixed up about the Prix Femina and once left a comment in a fairly important blog discussion (relating to proposals for a new prize - I think Tony commented too), where I was temporarily mistaken yet again that it was a prize for women writers decided by a judging panel of both/all sexes, not the other way round.

Looking at the winners' lists for the big French prizes, I'm surprised how few I've read, given [hazy] memories of blurbs on books I have read. They were probably shortlisted ones.


message 4: by Hugh (last edited Jul 18, 2016 03:26AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3560 comments Mod
It is surprising how few of the names on the Prix Goncourt list seem at all familiar just the other side of the Channel, and quite a few of the French writers I have read from that period never won it (mind you a lot of very good British writers have never won the Booker, and that has a much shorter history). The most recent one I have read is the Andreï Makine, and he is becoming one of my favourite writers.


message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 115 comments Antonomasia wrote: "Wikipedia: Of the "big six" French literary awards, the Prix Goncourt is the best known and most prestigious. The other major literary prizes are the Grand Prix du Roman de l'Academie Francaise, th..."

I have never heard of the vast majority of these prizes. Scanning the list the only one that seemed at all familiar is the Prix Medecis, but I don't really keep track of it at all....


message 6: by Louise (new)

Louise | 224 comments Oh I love Nothomb as well :-) Especially Tokyo Fiancée


message 7: by Tonymess (new)

Tonymess | 32 comments Amelie Nothomb has won the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française, but not the Goncourt.


message 8: by Matthias (new)

Matthias | 52 comments Here is the first selection for this year's Prix Goncourt.

Natacha Appanah, Tropique de la violence (Gallimard)
Metin Arditi, L’enfant qui mesurait le monde (Grasset)
Magyd Cherfi, Ma part de Gaulois (Actes Sud)
Catherine Cusset, L’Autre qu’on adorait (Gallimard)
Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, Règne animal (Gallimard)
Jean-Paul Dubois, La Succession (L’Olivier)
Gaël Faye, Petit Pays (Grasset)
Frédéric Gros, Les Possédées (Albin Michel)
Ivan Jablonka, Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes (Seuil)
Régis Jauffret, Cannibales (Seuil)
Luc Lang, Au commencement du septième jour (Stock)
Laurent Mauvignier, Continuer (Minuit)
Yasmina Reza, Babylone (Flammarion)
Leila Slimani, Chanson Douce (Gallimard)
Romain Slocombe, L’affaire Léon Sadorski (Robert Laffont)
Karine Tuil, L’Insouciance (Gallimard)


message 9: by Caterina (new)

Caterina (ninax) | 5 comments This is the Prix Femina longlist, announced a few days ago:
http://www.lepoint.fr/culture/prix-fe...
No idea how many of those novels are translated into English.
There is also the Prix Femina Etranger, which includes authors such as Edna O' Brien, Colm Toibin, Emma Cline, even a nominee from my home country, Greece (Ersi Sotiropoulos)!


message 10: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1859 comments Mod
Thanks for keeping us in the loop! Hopefully in a few years we can discuss some of these with you :-)


message 11: by Matthias (last edited Nov 05, 2016 03:29PM) (new)

Matthias | 52 comments I just finished Chanson Douce, and this is one of the books it was worth learning French for. There is little that compares to it among the books that I have read. Three films come to my mind: Fellini's La Dolce Vita, Kieslowski's A Short Film About Killing, and Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. If these resonate with you, this book might be worth reading.


message 12: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1859 comments Mod
Wow!


message 13: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1859 comments Mod
Today I got a proof of Charlotte Mandell's translation of Mathias Énard's Compass. I've heard great things about it since it won the 2015 Prix Goncourt, but I'm not sure I've heard those good things from anyone who has actually read it. Anyone here read and enjoy this one? It sounds like my kind of book, so I'm excited!


message 14: by Matthias (new)

Matthias | 52 comments Trevor wrote: "Today I got a proof of Charlotte Mandell's translation of Mathias Énard's Compass. I've heard great things about it since it won the 2015 Prix Goncourt, but I'm not sure I've heard those good thing..."
I have read it. It's a long, intellectual, and ultimately devastatingly sad book. I hope that's praise enough.


message 15: by Lee (new)

Lee I'm not sure how I missed this...


message 16: by Matthias (new)

Matthias | 52 comments Here is the first selection for the Prix Goncourt 2017.


• Marie-Hélène Lafon, Nos vies (Buchet-Chastel)
• François-Henri Désérable, Un certain M. Piekielny (Gallimard)
• Alice Zeniter, L'Art de perdre (Flammarion)
• Monica Sabolo, Summer (J.-C. Latès)
• Yannick Haenel, Tiens ferme ta couronne (Gallimard)
• Alexis Ragougneau, Niels (Viviane Hamy)
• Olivier Guez, La Disparition de Josef Mengele (Grasset)
• Kaouther Adimi, Nos richesses (Seuil)
• Patrick Deville, Taba-Taba (Seuil)
• Philippe Jaenada, La Serpe (Julliard)
• Eric Vuillard, L'Ordre du jour (Actes Sud)
• Yves Ravey, Trois jours chez ma tante (Editions de Minuit)
• Brigitte Giraud, Un loup pour l'homme (Flammarion)
• Véronique Olmi, Bakhita (Albin Michel)
• Frédéric Verger, Les Rêveuses (Gallimard)


message 17: by Louise (new)

Louise | 224 comments Sigh so few of them translated into Danish or English - I wish my French was good enough to tackle a novel :-)


message 18: by Meike (new)


message 19: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1859 comments Mod
Other Press has announced they will be publishing Vuillard’s book next November.


message 20: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Thanks, Anya! Yesterday, my colleague lent me his copy of "L'ordre du Jour", I hope I will get to it soon!


message 21: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1859 comments Mod
I was just received the Other Press release about The Order of the Day. It will be published on September 25 in Mark Polizzotti’s translation.

Here is their write-up:

At a time marked by an ever-widening inequality gap, promulgating the interests of a few at the expense of many, and a rising wave of nationalism, spurred on by assaults to democratic freedoms and propaganda bubbles intended to distort truth, Éric Vuillard’s 2017 Prix Goncourt Winner, THE ORDER OF THE DAY (Other Press Hardcover; On Sale: September 25th, 2018) offers a distilled and imaginative retelling of a similarly pivotal moment in history. What emerges is a timely warning about the fragility of the present moment. The annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany has long been seen as one of history’s most foreboding moments. Now, through a host of letters, historical documents, and photographs, Vuillard masterfully reconstructs and looks anew at the extraordinary sequence of events that opened a gateway to one of the greatest humanitarian horrors in our history. With rights deals underway in twenty-one counties and tens of thousands of copies sold worldwide, THE ORDER OF THE DAY exhumes a well-known history with fresh eyes, warning of the timeless threat to freedom exacted by self-interest, willful ignorance and the consolidation of power in the hands of the few.

Opening with a secret meeting held between twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi dignitaries on February 20, 1933, spanning to March 12th, 1938, the historic date on which German troops march into Austria to annex the nation to the Third Reich, on through the Nuremberg trials, this behind-the-scenes account of the manipulation, hubris, and greed that together led to Nazi Germany’s emboldening, brilliantly dismantles the myth of an effortless victory.

February 20, 1933: on an unremarkable day during a harsh Berlin winter, a meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi dignitaries is being held in secret in the plush lounges of the Reichstag. They are there to “stump up” funding for the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its fearsome Chancellor. This inaugural scene sets a tone of consent that will lead to the worst possible repercussions.

March 12, 1938: the annexation of Austria (Anschluss) is on the agenda and a grotesque day ensues that is intended to make history. The newsreels capture for eternity a motorized army, a terrible, inexorable power. But behind Goebbels’s splendid propaganda, an ersatz Blitzkrieg unfolds, the Panzers breaking down en masse on the roads of Austria. The true story of the Anschluss—a patchwork of minor shows of strength and fine words, a string of fevered telephone calls and vulgar threats—reveals a starkly different picture: it is no longer strength of character or the determination of a people that wins the day, but rather a combination of intimidation and bluff.

With this vivid, compelling history, Vuillard warns against the perils of willfully blind acquiescence. Enjoy. Vuillard will be touring in the US this Fall extensively and I look forward to being in touch with you soon to discuss plans for review coverage and interview opportunities.


message 22: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1859 comments Mod
I received an ARC of Other Press’s edition of Vuillard’s The Order of the Day. I’m going on holiday this week and will take this with me. It’s so short! The pages are small, have large type, and there are only 132 of them!


message 23: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) I read L'ordre du jour, and I have to admit that I was pretty underwhelmed - I see what the "méthode Vuillard" is all about, but it doesn't make for an exciting read. Compared to Binet's HHhH (also about the Nazis, also won the Goncourt), this doesn't stand a chance. Here's my review.


message 24: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1713 comments A little late with these. The article has the other nominees.

Prix Goncourt

Tous les hommes n'habitent pas le monde de la même façon

Prix Renaudot

La Panthère des neiges

https://www.lemonde.fr/culture/articl...


message 25: by Vesna (new)

Vesna (ves_13) | 237 comments As the awards season is in full swing in France, I thought some might be interested in a few foreign novels on their short/longlists. Only two major awards include categories for translated literature - Prix Femina and Prix Médicis. Four books are included on both lists:

Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov
We Germans by Alexander Starritt
In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova
The Magician by Colm Tóibín

I am happy to see Tóibín's novel featured, it was one of my reading highlights last year.


message 26: by Mohamed (new)

Mohamed Ikhlef | 311 comments Vesna wrote: "As the awards season is in full swing in France, I thought some might be interested in a few foreign novels on their short/longlists. Only two major awards include categories for translated literat..."

I cannot wait to see the second selections of Femina and Goncourt tomorrow!
Although this year, All the prizes has it favorites authors and did not settle on one title, The Femina was the best and the Goncourt included some of the worst and best titles from La rentrée



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