Goncourt Prize 2021: who, among these sixteen authors, will succeed Hervé Le Tellier?

The first list of finalists for the most prestigious French literary prize has just fallen. It includes recognized authors such as Christine Angot, Agnès Desarthe or Sorj Chalandon and some surprises.

Gathered again at the Drouant restaurant, under the chairmanship of Didier Decoin, the jurors of the Goncourt academy have chosen their sixteen favorite authors for this literary season. On the publishing house side, Grasset is doing well with three “nominations” (Anne Berest, Sorj Chalandon and Patrice Franceschi), then Gallimard with two potential winners (Lilia Hassaine, François Noudelmann). The jury paid attention to small houses such as Mialet-Barrault which is celebrating its two years! Sabine Wespieser, Philippe Rey and L’Observatoire are represented as much as Le Seuil, l’Olivier, Flammarion or Minuit. Note, however, the absence of the Actes Sud editions, four of the authors of which have received the prize since 2004.

We note that this selection includes confirmed authors (Christine Angot, Chalandon, Jaenada, Tanguy Viel, Louis-Philippe Dalembert, Agnès Desarthe…) as well as discoveries (Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, Lilia Hassaine, Elsa Fottorino, Abel Quentin…).

Some, like Sorj Chalandon, already have a fine list of autumn prizes: Médicis in 2006, Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française in 2011, Goncourt des lycéens in 2013. David Diop has already won the Goncourt des lycéens in 2018 and the international Man-Booker Prize last year. These two will no longer compete for the high school Goncourt. Jeanada is already a winner of the Femina prize obtained in 2017.

Finally, parity is almost respected with seven women and nine men.

The second selection will be revealed on October 5, 2021, they will then be only eight; the third selection comprising the four finalists will be announced on October 26; and the famous prize will be announced at Drouant’s on November 3.

The rules of the Prix Goncourt do not allow the subtleties of the other juries who can choose their winner apart from the finalists, the Goncourt 2021 is necessarily among them. Just as the very prescriber Goncourt of high school students will also come out of this list – young people choose their winner from this first selection.

So who will succeed Hervé Le Tellier, 2020 winner with The Anomaly, novel published by Gallimard, one of the best-selling in the history of Goncourt?

Christine ANGOT, The Journey to the East, Flammarion

Anne BEREST, Postcard, Stifle

Sorj CHALANDON, Son of a bastard, Stifle

Louis-Philippe DALEMBERT, Milwaukee Blues, Sabine Wespieser

Agnes DESARTHE, The eternal bridegroom, Olive Tree

David DIOP, The door of the journey of no return, Threshold

Clara DUPONT-MONOD, Adapt, Stock

Elsa FOTTORINO, Speak quietly Mercure from France

Patrice FRANCESCHI, If only one remains, Stifle

Lilia HASSAINE, Bitter sun, Gallimard

Philippe JAENADA, In the spring of monsters, Mialet-Barrault

François NOUDELMANN, The children of Cadillac, Gallimard

Maria POURCHET, Fire, Fayard

Abel QUENTIN, The seer of Etampes, The Observatory

Mohamed Mbougar SARR, The most secret memory of men, Philippe Rey

Tanguy VIEL, The girl we call Midnight Editions

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Goncourt Prize 2021: who, among these sixteen authors, will succeed Hervé Le Tellier?