Our Favorites among This Season’s Literary Awards

No time to follow the twists and turns of this season of French literary awards? This reading list will help you stay on top of the news!

Reading List

Veiller sur elle by Jean-Baptiste Andrea

Winner of this year’s Prix Goncourt

Born to a poor Italian family at the start of the 20th Century, Mimo is set to serve an apprenticeship with a mediocre sculptor. Young Mimo’s talent, however, amounts to genius.

Heir to a prestigious family, Viola Orsini grew up in a Genovese Palace. But Viola has too much ambition to limit herself to a position dictated by convention.

Mimo and Viola should never have crossed paths, but fate has decided otherwise. These two can’t live with or without each other. Bound by a mutual and unfailing attraction, they’ll face the furor of history, side by side, as Italy sinks into fascism…. or anyone who loves art and colorful characters!

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Triste Tigre by Neige Sinno

Winner of le Prix Goncourt des Lycéens 2023 and of le Prix Femina 2023

To break through taboos can require a certain prowess. This prowess Neige Sinno has demonstrated twice. At age 19, she filed a lawsuit against her stepfather who sexually abused her throughout her adolescence. She filed again when she published Triste Tigre, the book that has emerged as the literary phenomenon of the fall.

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Proust: Roman Familial by Laure Murat

Winner of this year’s Prix Médicis Essai

In How Proust Can Change Your Life, Alain de Bottom makes the case that Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time was an invaluable source of insight into the workings of love, society, art and the meaning of existence. De Bottom takes In Search of Lost Time as the basis for a sustained investigation into the power and significance of literature, a project that is not foreign to Laure Murat’s ambition in Proust: Roman Familial, this year’s laureate of the Prix Medicis for nonfiction. Murat’s work is distinguished by managing to sound not only erudite, but also incredibly personal as she explores what exactly is at stake in Proust’s search.

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Le Vieil incendie by Elisa Shua Dusapin

Winner of this year’s Prix Wepler 2023

Agathe, a screenwriter living in NYC, must return to empty out her childhood home following the death of her father. She is alone with her sister Vera, who stopped talking when she was 6. Is Vera’s silence a consequence of stroke? or was it her own conscious decision after their mother left the family home when they were kids, leaving them in their father’s care? As the sisters pack, sift and clean, memories of their past bubble up, and they must take pains to figure out a space for each other in their present life.
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Other recommendations by Albertine Team