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The Prix Goncourt (Le prix Goncourt or "The Goncourt Prize") is a prize in French literature, given by the académie Goncourt to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year". Four other prizes are also awarded which are: prix Goncourt du Premier Roman (first novel), prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle (short story), prix Goncourt de la Poésie (poetry) and prix Goncourt de la Biographie (biography).

Contents

History

Edmond de Goncourt, a successful author, critic, and publisher, bequeathed his entire estate for the foundation and maintenance of the académie Goncourt. In honour of his brother and collaborator, Jules Alfred Huot de Goncourt, (1830-1870), the académie has awarded the prix Goncourt every December since 1903. The jury that determines the winner meets at the Drouant restaurant to make its decision. The award, though nominal, ensures the winner celebrity status and a boost in sales.

The award may only be given to an author once, and has never been given to an author twice except in one case. Romain Gary won it in 1956 for Les racines du ciel, and then won it again under the pseudonym Émile Ajar in 1975 for La vie devant soi.

A few of the best-known authors who have won the prize are: Marcel Proust, Jean Fayard, Simone de Beauvoir, Georges Duhamel, Alphonse de Châteaubriant, Antonine Maillet.

Some decisions for awarding the prize were controversial, the most famous case being the decision to award the prize in 1919 to Marcel Proust; this was met with indignation, since many in the public felt that the prize should have gone to Roland Dorgelès for Les Croix de bois, a novel about the First World War, for the following reasons: the prize was supposed to be awarded to promising young authors, whereas Proust was 48 (Proust was a beginning author, though, which is the only eligibility requirement for the prize, age being unimportant); and, this was immediately after the end of the war, where Dorgelès had fought, whereas Proust had been deemed unfit for service for medical reasons (he had asthma).

The 1932 prize was controversial for passing up Céline, and the voting process became the basis of the 1992 book Goncourt 32 by Eugène Saccomano.

In 1987, the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens was established, as a collaboration between the académie Goncourt, the French Ministry of Education, and Fnac, a book, music, and movie retailer.

The Prix Renaudot is announced at the same ceremony as the Prix Goncourt, it has become something of a second-place prize.

Prix Goncourt

Prize winners[1]
Year Recipient French title English title(s) Notes
1903 John Antoine Nau Force ennemie nta
1904 Léon Frapié La Maternelle nta
1905 Claude Farrère Les Civilisés nta
1906 Jérôme Tharaud Dingley, l'illustre écrivain nta
1907 Emile Moselly Le Rouet d'ivoire and Jean des Brebis ou le livre de la misère nta Pseudonym of Emile Chénin.
1908 Francis de Miomandre Ecrit sur l'eau nta
1909 Marius-Ary Leblond En France nta
1910 Louis Pergaud De Goupil à Margot nta
1911 Alphonse de Châteaubriant Monsieur des Lourdines nta
1912 André Savignon Les Filles de la pluie nta
1913 Marc Elder Le peuple de la mer nta
1914 Adrien Bertrand L'Appel du Sol The Call of the Soil (1919) Awarded in 1916. See footnote.[2]
1915 René Benjamin Gaspard Private Gaspard (1916)
1916 Henri Barbusse Le Feu Under Fire (1917) See footnote.[2]
1917 Henri Malherbe La Flamme au poing The Flame That Is France (1918)
1918 Georges Duhamel Civilisation Civilization (1919)
1919 Marcel Proust A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs Within a Budding Grove, volume 2 of In Search of Lost Time
1920 Ernest Pérochon Nêne Nêne (1920)
1921 René Maran Batouala Batouala (1921)
1922 Henry Béraud Le vitriol de la lune and Le martyre de l'obèse nta
1923 Lucien Fabre Rabevel ou Le mal des ardents nta
1924 Thierry Sandre Le Chèvrefeuille, le Purgatoire, le Chapitre XIII nta
1925 Maurice Genevoix Raboliot nta
1926 Henri Deberly Le supplice de Phèdre The Peat-Cutters (1927)
1927 Maurice Bedel Jérôme 60° latitude nord Jerome (1928)
1928 Maurice Constantin-Weyer Un Homme se penche sur son passé A Man Scans His Past (1929)
1929 Marcel Arland L'Ordre nta
1930 H. Fauconnier Malaisie The Soul of Malaya (1931) or Malaisie
1931 Jean Fayard Mal d'amour Desire (1931)
1932 Guy Mazeline Les Loups The Wolves
1933 André Malraux La Condition humaine Man's Fate (1934)
1934 Roger Vercel Capitaine Conan Captain Conan (1935)
1935 Joseph Peyre Sang et Lumières nta
1936 Maxence Van Der Meersch L'Empreinte de Dieu Hath Not the Potter (1937)
1937 Charles Plisnier Faux Passeports nta
1938 Henri Troyat L'Araigne nta
1939 Philippe Hériat Les enfants gâtés nta
1940 Francis Ambrière Les grandes vacances nta
1941 Henri Pourrat Vent de Mars nta
1942 Marc Bernard Pareil à des enfants nta
1943 Marius Grout Passage de l'Homme When the Man Passed By (1962)
1944 Elsa Triolet Le premier accroc coûte 200 Francs A Fine of Two Hundred Francs (1947)
1945 Jean-Louis Bory Mon village à l'heure allemande nta
1946 Jean-Jacques Gautier Histoire d'un Fait divers nta
1947 Jean-Louis Curtis Les Forêts de la Nuit The Forests of the Night (1950)
1948 Maurice Druon Les grandes familles nta
1949 Robert Merle Week-end à Zuydcoote Week-end at Zuydcoote (1950). For the 1964 film see Weekend at Dunkirk
1950 Paul Colin Les jeux sauvages nta
1951 Julien Gracq Le Rivage des Syrtes The Opposing Shore (1986) Refused prize.
1952 Béatrix Beck Léon Morin, prêtre The Priest (UK 1953), The Passionate Heart (US 1953). For the 1961 film see Léon Morin, Priest
1953 Pierre Gascar Les Bêtes nta
1954 Simone de Beauvoir Les Mandarins The Mandarins (1957)
1955 Roger Ikor Les eaux mêlées nta
1956 Romain Gary Les racines du ciel The Roots of Heaven (1957) For the 1958 film see The Roots of Heaven
1957 Roger Vailland La Loi The Law (1958)
1958 Francis Walder Saint Germain ou la Négociation nta
1959 André Schwarz-Bart Le dernier des Justes The Last of the Just (1960)
1960 Vintilă Horia Dieu est né en exil God Was Born in Exile (1961)
1961 Jean Cau La pitié de Dieu nta
1962 Anna Langfus Les bagages de sable nta
1963 Armand Lanoux Quand la mer se retire nta
1964 Georges Conchon L'Etat sauvage nta
1965 Jacques Borel L'Adoration nta
1966 Edmonde Charles-Roux Oublier Palerme To Forget Palermo (1968)
1967 André Pieyre de Mandiargues La Marge The Margin (1970)
1968 Bernard Clavel Les fruits de l'hiver The Fruits of Winter (1969)
1969 Félicien Marceau Creezy nta
1970 Michel Tournier Le Roi des Aulnes The Erl-King (UK 1972) or The Ogre (US 1972) For the 1996 film see The Ogre
1971 Jacques Laurent Les Bêtises nta
1972 Jean Carrière L'Epervier de Maheux nta
1973 Jacques Chessex L'Ogre nta
1974 Pascal Lainé La Dentellière A Web of Lace (1976) or The Lacemaker(?) (2008(?))[3] For the 1977 film see The Lacemaker.
1975 Emile Ajar (Romain Gary) La vie devant soi Momo (1978) or The Life Before Us (1986). For the 1977 film see Madame Rosa
1976 Patrick Grainville Les Flamboyants nta
1977 Didier Decoin John l'enfer nta
1978 Patrick Modiano Rue des boutiques obscures Missing Person (1980)
1979 Antonine Maillet Pélagie la Charette Pélagie: The Return to Acadie (1982)
1980 Yves Navarre Le Jardin d'acclimatation nta
1981 Lucien Bodard Anne Marie nta
1982 Dominique Fernandez Dans la main de l'Ange nta
1983 Frédérick Tristan Les égarés The Lost Ones (1991)
1984 Marguerite Duras L'Amant The Lover (1986). For the 1992 film see The Lover.
1985 Yann Queffélec Les Noces barbares The Wedding (1987)
1986 Michel Host Valet de nuit nta
1987 Tahar Ben Jelloun La Nuit sacrée The Sacred Night (1989)
1988 Érik Orsenna L'Exposition coloniale nta
1989 Jean Vautrin Un grand pas vers le Bon Dieu nta
1990 Jean Rouaud Les Champs d'honneur Fields of Glory (1992)
1991 Pierre Combescot Les Filles du Calvaire nta
1992 Patrick Chamoiseau Texaco Texaco (1998)
1993 Amin Maalouf Le Rocher de Tanios The Rock of Tanios (1994)
1994 Didier Van Cauwelaert Un Aller simple One-Way (2003)
1995 Andreï Makine Le Testament français Dreams of My Russian Summers (1998)
1996 Pascale Roze Le Chasseur Zéro nta
1997 Patrick Rambaud La Bataille The Battle (2000)
1998 Paule Constant Confidence pour confidence nta
1999 Jean Echenoz Je m'en vais I'm Gone (US 2001) or I'm Off (UK 2001)
2000 Jean-Jacques Schuhl Ingrid Caven Ingrid Caven (2004)
2001 Jean-Christophe Rufin Rouge Brésil Brazil Red (2004)
2002 Pascal Quignard Les Ombres errantes nta
2003 Jacques-Pierre Amette La maîtresse de Brecht Brecht's Lover (US 2005) or Brecht's Mistress (UK 2005)
2004 Laurent Gaudé Le Soleil des Scorta The House of Scorta (US 2006) The Scortas' Sun (UK 2007)
2005 François Weyergans Trois jours chez ma mère nta
2006 Jonathan Littell Les Bienveillantes The Kindly Ones (2009)
2007 Gilles Leroy Alabama song nta
2008 Atiq Rahimi Syngué Sabour: La pierre de patience Stone of Patience (UK 2010) The Patience Stone (US 2010)
2009 Marie NDiaye Trois femmes puissantes nta

Key

  • "nta" = No [English] Translation Available, as of March 2009
  • translation date is of first translation.

Other awards

In addition to the prix Goncourt for a novel, the academy awards 4 other awards for: first novel, short story, biography and poetry.

As of March 2009, the académie changed the award name by dropping "bourses" ("scholarship") from the title.[4][5] The prefix "prix" can be included or not, such as "Prix Goncourt de la Poésie" (Goncourt prize for Poetry) or "Goncourt de la Poésie" (Goncourt of Poetry). For example: "Claude Vigée was awarded a Goncourt de la Poésie in 2008". Or, "Claude Vigée won the 2008 prix Goncourt de la Poésie".

The award titles are:

Pre-2009 award name Post-2009 award name Category
Bourse Goncourt de la Biographie Prix Goncourt de la Biographie Biography
Bourse Goncourt de la Nouvelle Prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle Short story
Bourse Goncourt du Premier Roman Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman First novel
Bourse Goncourt de la Poésie Prix Goncourt de la Poésie Poetry
Bourse Goncourt Jeunesse discontinued Juvenile

The winners are listed below.[6]

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Prix Goncourt de la Biographie

Awarded in partnership with the city of Nancy

  • 1999 - Claude Pichois, Colette
  • 2000 - Dominique Bona, Berthe Morisot
  • 2001 - Philippe Besson, En l'absence des hommes
  • 2002 - Jean-Paul Goujon, Une Vie Secrète ( 1870-1925 ); Mille lettres de Pierre Louÿs à Georges Louis (1890-1917)
  • 2003 - Pierre Billard, Louis Malle
  • 2004 - Claude Dufresne, Appelez-moi George Sand
  • 2005 - Thibaut d'Anthonay, Jean Lorrain
  • 2006 - Angie David, Dominique Aury
  • 2007 - Patrice Locmant, Huysmans, le forçat de la vie
  • 2008 - Jennifer Lesieur, Jack London
  • 2009 - Viviane Forrester, Virginia Woolf

Prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle

Awarded in partnership with the city of Strasbourg

  • 1999 - Elvire de Brissac, Les anges d'en bas
  • 2000 - Catherine Paysan, Les Désarmés
  • 2001 - Stéphane Denis, Elle a maigri pour le festival
  • 2002 - Sébastien Lapaque, Mythologie Française
  • 2003 - Philippe Claudel, Les petites mécaniques
  • 2004 - Olivier Adam, Passer l'hiver
  • 2005 - Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud, Singe savant tabassé par deux clowns
  • 2006 - Franz Bartelt, Le Bar des habitudes
  • 2007 - Brigitte Giraud, L'Amour est très surestimé
  • 2008 - Jean-Yves Masson, Ultimes vérités sur la mort du nageur
  • 2009 - Sylvain Tesson, Une vie à coucher dehors

Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman

Awarded in partnership with the municipality of Paris

  • 1990 - Hélène de Monferrand, Les amies d'Héloïse
  • 1991 - Armande Gobry-Valle, Iblis ou la défroque du serpent
  • 1992 - Nita Rousseau, Les iris bleus
  • 1993 - Bernard Chambaz, L'arbre de vies
  • 1994 - Bernard Lamarche-Vadel, Vétérinaires
  • 1995 - Florence Seyvos, Les apparitions
  • 1996 - Yann Moix, Jubilations vers le ciel
  • 1997 - Jean-Christophe Rufin, L'abyssin
  • 1998 - Shan Sa, Porte de la paix céleste
  • 1999 - Nicolas Michel, Un revenant
  • 2000 - Benjamin Berton, Sauvageons
  • 2001 - Salim Bachi, Le chien d'Ulysse
  • 2002 - Soazig Aaron, Le non de Klara
  • 2003 - Claire Delannoy, La guerre, l'Amérique
  • 2004 - Françoise Dorner, La fille du rang derrière
  • 2005 - Alain Jaubert, Val Paradis
  • 2006 - Hédi Kaddour, Waltenberg
  • 2007 - Frédéric Brun, Perla
  • 2008 - Jakuta Alikavazovic, Corps volatils
  • 2009 - Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, Une éducation libertine

Prix Goncourt de la Poésie

Established through the bequest of Adrien Bertrand (Prix Goncourt in 1914)

Bourse Goncourt Jeunesse

Awarded in partnership with the municipality of Fontvieille. Discontinued after 2007.

  • 1999 - Claude Guillot et Fabienne Burckel, Le fantôme de Shanghai
  • 2000 - Eric Battut, Rouge Matou
  • 2002 - Fred Bernard et François Roca, Jeanne et le Mokélé et Jesus Betz
  • 2003 - Yvan Pommaux, Avant la Télé
  • 2004 - Jean Chalon et Martine Delerm, Un arbre dans la lune
  • 2005 - Natalie Fortier, Lili Plume
  • 2006 - Bernard du Boucheron et Nicole Claveloux, Un roi, une princesse et une pieuvre
  • 2007 - Véronique Ovaldé et Joëlle Jolivet, La très petite Zébuline

Notes

  1. ^ Website of the Academie Goncourt
  2. ^ a b No award was given in 1914 due to the war. In 1916 two awards were given, one for 1916 (Barbusse) and one for 1914 (Bertrand).
  3. ^ Translated by David Dugan. The Dirty Goat, issue 18, pg. 170.
  4. ^ Autres prix décernés par l'Académie Goncourt
  5. ^ Les Goncourt surfent, Le Figaro, 29/01/2009
  6. ^ Autres prix décernés par l'Académie Goncourt: Lauréats

See also


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