The BnF honors Pierre Michon.

The price of the National Library of France was awarded Monday to this 77-year-old writer.

This annual prize, created in 2009, rewards “a living French-language author for all of his work”.

To justify its choice, the institution hailed the "precious and rare language" of this craftsman of writing.

"Thanks to an extremely careful use of the language, Pierre Michon's texts are close to prose poetry, and one could compare them to a modern version of the songs once transmitted by the troubadours".

A critically and academically acclaimed author

Born in a hamlet in Creuse in 1945, Pierre Michon made a name for himself thanks to a first book hailed as a masterpiece,

Tiny Lives

in 1984, a series of biographies of strangers in his entourage or his ancestry.

His subsequent works made him a popular author of literary critics and academics, such as

Rimbaud le fils


La Grande Beune


Les Onze


So much so that bettors now see him as a possible Nobel Prize for Literature.

Living in a hamlet in his native Limousin, Pierre Michon came to Paris for the annual dinner of patrons of the National Library of France.

“I believe in the library, even if I don't practice it.

Whence comes to me then, when I arrive from my rural departments, by the Orleans railway, this burst of pride, exaltation, respect, which rises in me, at the sight of the four dungeons of the BnF Tolbiac?

he wondered.

“I have an irrational affection for the four menhirs, the four pillars of justice, the four pillars of the throne, the great pyramids of knowledge,” he continued.

Among the winners of this prize endowed with 10,000 euros, the previous one was the essayist Hélène Cixous.

Michel Houellebecq, Emmanuel Carrère, Virginie Despentes and Milan Kundera also won it.


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