Literary prize: Writers finally break glass ceiling

In the wake of the Nobel Literature attributed to Annie Ernaux, six of the eleven main French literary prizes, including the prestigious Goncourt, were at women. The authors are finally crowned: story of a beautiful revenge.

by Denis Cosnard and the decoders

Would it be the consecration for French writers? Suddenly, two of them won the most prestigious prices they could dream of. In October, Annie Ernaux was the first Frenchman in history to obtain the Nobel Prize in literature. In early November, Brigitte Giraud received the Goncourt, the most coveted tricolor prices, the one who sells hundreds of thousands of pounds – Flammarion immediately reprinted 400,000 copies of her story to live quickly. In one hundred and twenty years, it was the thirteenth time that the prize created by the will of Edmond de Goncourt, in 1892, went to an author.

In their wake, several other writers have been rewarded. Claudie Hunzinger won the Femina for a dog at my table (Grasset), and Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam, the Medici for the thirteenth hour (P.O.L), also praised by the Landerneau Prix des Readers. Lola Lafon was awarded the December Prize and the Prix des Inrockuptibles for when you listen to this song (Stock). And it is to Joffrine Donnadieu that the Prix de Flore, for dog and Louve (Gallimard), by eight votes against six to another author, Emma Becker.

Also appear in this list, longer than often, Anne Berest, Grand Prix of readers she for the postcard (Grasset), and Sandrine Collette, Jean-Giono Prize and RENAUDOT PRICE OF HEALLS FOR ON WEAGE (LATTÈS ). Or Claire Castillon, Friday prize for children’s literature for lengths (Gallimard), a novel written from the point of view of a teenager victim of a pedophile.

In total, six of the eleven main French literary prizes of the year were awarded to women. A proportion reached only four other times in more than a century, including three since 2010, and never exceeded. This increases the share of winners over ten years. A clear increase compared to the average of 24 % recorded in a fairly stable way during the previous three decades.

a slow, irregular, hit, disputed


“The dynamics are positive, but we remain generally far from parity”, notes Sylvie Ducas, professor at Paris-Est-Créteil University and specialist in literary consecration. From year to year, writers are certainly more rewarded. Prices are less a matter of men than before. The movement remains slow, irregular, hit, disputed.

The difficulty with which women make a place in the small literary world is explained. For centuries, “everything has been put in place so that they are never heard,” sums up Julien Marsay, author of the Revenge of the Authors (Payot). Women named Christine de Pisan, Marie de Gournay, Madeleine de Scudéry or Olympe Audouard have taken the pen. But they have been systematically disqualified, striped from memory, affirms this French teacher: “The summit of misogyny is reached in the 19th e century, when an almost exclusively male literary history is devoted”, taught Throughout the 20th e century. We had to wait until recent years that studies on the place of women in the literature multiply at university.

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/Media reports cited above.