Paris | The Goncourt prize, a French literary distinction, was awarded on Monday during a video conference to Hervé Le Tellier for The Anomaly (Gallimard), iconoclastic novel about an event that is difficult to explain that we will strive to explain. A few minutes later, the Renaudot prize for the essay was awarded to Quebecer Dominique Fortier.
Hervé Le Tellier, 63, a mathematician by training, former journalist and president of the Oulipo association (potential literature opener), obtained eight votes against two for The historiographer of the kingdom by Maël Renouard.
“You never expect a price like the Goncourt. First of all, we do not write to have it, and then we cannot imagine having it, ”declared the winner during a videoconference, alongside his editor, Antoine Gallimard.
The Anomaly , the eighth novel by Hervé Le Tellier, tells the consequences of a strange event, namely that a Paris-New York flight occurs twice, with the same passengers, a few months apart.
The story, panting, brilliantly summons all genres, noir novel, classic literary story, interrogation reports, etc.
“The idea is that since Trump is there, since Trump is the cause of the destruction of the world, the vision of the book is to offer another version of the world, where Biden is president,” he said. said.
“This book is going to do a lot of people good at the moment because we are living in times as everyone knows, not very good. This book will enchant a lot of people. Thank you for having written it ”, commented the writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, member of the Goncourt Academy, in videoconference.
The other three finalists were Maël Renouard, edited by Grasset, Cameroonian Djaïli Amadou Amal with The impatient (Emmanuelle Colas) and Camille de Toledo with Theseus, his new life (Verdier).
For its part, the Renaudot Prize was awarded, a few minutes after the Goncourt, to Marie-Hélène Lafon, for her novel Son’s story (Buchet-Chastel), a saga that spans a century, from 1908 to 2008.
The main character, André, raised by his aunt, pierces a family secret by exploring his genealogy. Dominique Fortier, with Paper Cities (Grasset), won the Renaudot of the test.