(AFP) – The French Academy has clearly made the choice of privileging the fiction and the fiction by giving Thursday its Grand prix du roman of Adelaide de Clermont-Tonnerre for “The last of us”, a historical epic and romantic already acclaimed by the public.
The novelist, published by Grasset, has been chosen in the first round of the election by 11 votes to 5 to Benoît Duteurtre (“Book for adults”, Gallimard) and 3 Sylvain Prudhomme (“Legend”, The Crossbow).
“What happiness, it is a novel! However, a long time ago that there are more or little novels of imagination”, welcomed the permanent secretary of the French Academy, Hélène Carrère d’encausse.
Adelaide de Clermont-Tonnerre “imagination, she invents,” said the academician. “His book is the definition of the novel, the imagination of fiction”.
The fact that it was awarded the Grand prize at the first round shows that she has “packed the Academy”, she stressed.
Praising the qualities of the novelist who “knows how”, the French academic has blasted the writers who “tell you about all their misfortunes, personal, those of their grand-mother…”.
Eums, Adelaide de Clermont-Tonnerre, director of the magazine “Point of view”, recalled that his novel was only her second book (she is working on a third). “This award makes you want to continue,” she said. The prize of the French Academy is endowed with 10,000 euros.
She admitted to having written “a novel, very novel with a plot, characters to whom one clings, two temporalities and an aspect quite unknown war”.
“By giving me this prize, the Academy has chosen to defend a certain idea of the novel, which sometimes is not very considered,” she considered, while recognizing that there may be “wonderful things” in the self-fiction or stories based on real facts.
“The last of us” is the story of a young ambitious falling in love with the daughter of a billionaire. We are in New York at the end of the 1960s.
The novel already a great popular success.
At the age of 40 years, the author of “Fur” (rewarded in particular by the price House the press and a finalist for the Goncourt in the first novel) knows how to conduct his business.
- Andy Warhol and Jimmy Hendrix -
His second novel is full of twists and turns. Change of place, change of time. In the second chapter, we leave Manhattan to find ourselves in the middle of the ruins of Dresden after the terrible bombing in February 1945.
The main hero of the novel, it is Werner Zilch, a citizen of the united states since his adoption by an american family. Because Werner, in his eyes “light blue”, a real estate developer that nothing seems to upset him, was not born on american soil. His mother, severely injured in the bombing of Dresden, gave rise almost by a miracle.
As for his father, believed he was the right arm of Wernher Von Braun (who will be recovered by the Americans to launch their space program) but above all, “the inventor of V2″, the first and lethal ballistic missiles.
Werner Zilch is a ladies ‘ man to whom no girl can resist. But when he met Rebecca Lynch it is he who failed. Adelaide de Clermont-Tonnerre excels in telling this “Love Story”, at the risk, sometimes, of doing a little too much. We meet andy Warhol, Jimmy Hendrix or Bob Dylan! Everything takes place as if in a dream until the day where Werner is presented to the mother of Rebecca, Judith, and survivor of Auschwitz, who collapses at the sight of her.
Rebecca disappears from the life of Werner who is going to start literally to body lost in its real estate projects.
Some readers will have already guessed all of the plot but, for others, Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre goes back in time. It is Von Braun himself (he is now working for Nasa) with her “warm smile” who will tell Werner the secret of his origins. His father was he really a war criminal as believes Judith? We go from the history lesson at the thriller, but we feel that all of this will end well.