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Novelist Hervé Le Tellier was awarded the most famous French literary prize, Prix Goncourt, in an announcement made through video link due to coronavirus restrictions.

Le Tellier set his winning L’anomalie in 2021 on a flight between Paris and New York, where the story is told by 11 different passengers including a part-time hit man and a Nigerian pop star.

Paris-born Le Tellier, 63, is also a mathematician, a former scientific journalist, a playwright and a linguist who is a member of the influential experimental literary society Oulipo.

Le Tellier published around 30 books including poetry and erotica and his L’anomalie is his 21rst novel. Seven of his books were translated into English.

France’s most celebrated literary award,  Prix Goncourt, was first awarded in 1867, and is usually announced every November, after selections made by a 10-member jury committee.

Though Prix Goncourt is worth €10 only, yet it guarantees massive book sales, with previous winners; Marcel Proust, André Malraux, Elsa Triolet, Simone de Beauvoir and Marguerite Duras, have seen their novels achieve sales of 400,000 copies.

Source: The Guardian