“My first is desire. “And my second, it’s not fun, but Désensible, François-Henri by his first name, winner of what can be considered a desirable award: the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française. Our Immortals, often mocked for an average age that makes senators look like juvenile punks, have set their sights on this young 34-year-old novelist and on his novel “My master and my winner” (Gallimard), published in the back to school.
Already noticed for his previous books, in particular “Un certain M. Piekielny”, selected in 2017 for Goncourt and Renaudot, François-Henri Désrable is one of those young French writers who are tracing their furrows by being part of a certain classicism. of good quality, which surely has the good fortune to please the self-proclaimed guarantors of “Literature” with a capital L, the Academicians.
With “My master and my winner”, Désensible is placed under the aegis of Paul Verlaine – the title is borrowed from the poem “Are you brunette or blonde”: “Are you soft or hard? Is it sensitive? or mocking, / Your heart? / I don’t know but I give thanks to nature / For having made your heart my master and my winner ». Nothing like a cursed poet, mad lover of Rimbaud, to sponsor the story of an illegitimate passion between Edgar and Tina. Run-in scenario: Edgar loves Tina, but Tina loves another, Vasco. And all of this, like love affairs in general, may end badly.
François-Henri Désrable was therefore preferred to the journalist of “Paris Match” Gilles-Martin Chauffier and his “Last Tribune” (Grasset) and to Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, essential in the selections with his novel “The Most Secret Memory of Men” (Philippe Rey). Will the latter console himself with the Goncourt for which he is still in contention? Answer on November 3.
Note: most of these books have been, or will soon be, reviewed in the literary pages of “L’Obs”. And the latest literary award news can be found there.