Thu, Nov 04, 2021
The literary prize season continues: the winners of the Médicis and Féminaprizes and the and Prix du roman de l’Académie françaisewere announced last week and on November 2, the Renaudot and Goncourt prizes will be awarded.
For the Goncourt, the matter was not easy this year following allegations of conflict of interest that led the jury to adopt, less than a month before the award, new rules for the selection of titles in the running; it is (finally!) no longer allowed to retain a book whose author is a close relative of the jurors. In the end, the 2021 winner of the Goncourt is: Mohamed Mbougar Sarr for La Plus Secrète Mémoire des hommes. The author is a native of Senegal. How much money is awarded to him? Ten euros! Yes, you read that right. Obviously, the prestige that comes with the prize is worth its weight in gold when you count the revenue from tens of thousands of virtually guaranteed sales in bookstores.
The Renaudot jury also came under fire this fall for its decision to keep Christian Giudicelli, an admitted accomplice of the pedophile Gabriel Matzneff, on its jury. The winner is the Belgian author Amélie Nothomb, for her novel Premier Sang. And how much does she win? No money is given to her directly by the contest organizers, but, as with the Goncourt, fame and sales are the real reward, although Ms. Nothomb is not exactly a stranger to tributes.
If you like to follow the news of the French-speaking literary world, your librarians recommend Lire magazine, available in print in branches and on request, and also available in electronic version on our Overdrive platform.