The jury for the Prix Littéraire 30 Millions d’Amis, chaired by Didier Decoin, awarded its prize to the author of Son odeur après la pluie (Stock) on November 15.
The Prix Littéraire 30 Millions d’Amis, created in 1982 and known as the “Goncourt for animals”, lacks the renown of the classic Prix Goncourt, founded in 1903….Borrowing the location and customs of the famous literary prize, the Prix Littéraire 30 Millions d’Amis boasts a prestigious jury that would make many a prize organizer green with envy.
In this competition, the animal takes pride of place, whether or not it is the main character of the work. In France, where half of all households have a pet, 68% of French people consider their pet to be a fully-fledged member of the family.
In November, the month of prices, the weather is usually… miserable. But this Wednesday, November 15, 2023, the weather is rather mild. There’s no need to shelter under an umbrella in front of the Drouant restaurant on Place Gaillon in Paris to wait for the name of the winner of the 41st edition. On the second floor of the restaurant, a cluster of journalists and photographers wait patiently in the Salon Proust, which adjoins the famous Salon Goncourt.
What do the members of the jury have in common? They are all sensitive to the animal cause and very attached to this annual event. Didier Decoin, President of the Académie Goncourt, is President of the Prix 30 Millions d’Amis. The nine jurors include Reha Hutin, President of the 30 Millions d’Amis Foundation, academician Frédéric Vitoux, writers Didier Van Cauwelaert (Prix Goncourt 1994) and Irène Frain (Prix Interallié 2020), philosopher and novelist Frédéric Lenoir, and publisher Teresa Cremisi. Missing from the line-up, however, are the eagerly-awaited Michel Houellebecq (Prix Goncourt 2010) and Swiss author Joël Dicker (Goncourt des lycéens 2012), a regular at previous editions.
Sixteen books are in the running. “This abundant selection once again demonstrates the extent to which animals are a literary subject of choice”, says Reha Hutin.
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Featured photo: The 30 Millions d’Amis Literary Prize jury and 2023 winner Cédric Sapin-Defour © Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis