It was two voices and Paul Greveillac, author of Masters and slaves (Gallimard) would have had the prix Goncourt a month ago. But it is Nicolas Mathieu, who has won the prestigious award for Their children after them (Actes sud). He was crowned at the Drouant place Gaillon, Paris. The finalist unhappy, Paul Greveillac has not made the trip.
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This was only a postponement. On December 5, 2018, the prix Jean-Giono was awarded to the table of Goncourt. And who is the winner? Paul Greveillac, happy to find themselves surrounded, during the lunch delivery, Antoine Gallimard, Sylvie Giono, the daughter of the immense writer, Paule Constant, president of the jury, who also serves on the academy Goncourt (it was at his initiative that the Giono is provided at the Drouant).
The other jurors present were Yves Simon, who sang a song, and has been highly acclaimed, David Foenkinos, Gilles Lapouge, Marianne Payot, Olivier Bellamy, Robert Kopp. Were apologies for absence Tahar Ben Jelloun, Frédéric Vitoux, Franz-Olivier Giesbert and Metin Arditi. A hell of a jury.
The Prix Jean-Giono is far from being a consolation prize for Paule Greveillac. In addition to having received warm words and enthusiasm on the part of Sylvie Giono and a superb speech by the president, which has moved, the winner has pocketed a cheque for 10,000 euros, thanks to the sponsorship of the Fondation Pierre Bergé -Yves Saint Laurent.
“the construction of The novel, the pace, the style printed by Greveillac seem to marry the history of the chinese mentality”
Since its publication at the start of the literary, Le Figaro had noticed this beautiful novel, rich, ambitious and classical. Stephen keith j. watson, director of the Figaro littéraire had said to the greater good. “Paul Greveillac has sprung up in the literary scene in French with The Souls red , a magnificent novel about censorship in the soviet cinema. The book struck by his total lack of concession to age and its modes. Its author was asking the reader’s patience, was setting up his narrative with the words that fit. We find this requirement in Masters and slaves , as trivial if it is, which is a dive in the history of China. (…) The construction of the novel, the pace, the style printed by Greveillac seem to marry the history of the chinese mentality – or the image that a western reader is, in fact: in the time of maoism triumphant, a little place to the individual, a bit of dialogue that would express his sensitivity, his opinion. The author then grants a wide place to the nature immense, in time and history. (…). Over the pages, the novel accelerates, China awakens, comes to life and with it those who make it up”. And to conclude with a “powerful and exciting novel”.
Masters and slaves , Paul Greveillac, Gallimard, 457 p., 22 euros.