The Prix Goncourt, France’s premier literary prize, was awarded today to Pierre Lemaitre for Au revoir là-haut (published by Albin Michel). Lemaitre is a well known author of crime novels whose work has been translated into twenty languages. Au revoir là-haut is his first “serious” novel.
It concerns two soldiers recently returned from the First World War, Albert Maillard and Edouard Péricourt, the first a proletarian, the second a homosexual artist and estranged son of an authoritarian banker. They find on their return that the “grateful nation” is more grateful to the dead than the living.
“We thought we were dying for the fatherland but we died for the captains of industry,” wrote Anatole France in 1922. Mixing fiction and reality and keeping up suspence to the last page, the novelist has composed with mastery a portrait of postwar France, where the imposters triumph and the capitalists get rich on the ruins
Source: Macha Séry in Le Monde