Prix de la Closerie des Lilas

by Abdon FLORES

Literature, Parisian cafés and brasseries have a long history together, an immortal cliché linking these aspects of modern cultural life. There is actually a symbiosis between them, nurturing the imagination in one sense and supporting commerce in the other one. To honor this pact, some bussineses have decided to throw a prize and so perpetuate this noble alliance. Such are the roots of the Prix de la Closerie de Lilas which this year reaches its 9th edition.

This is a feminine prize in many senses: the jury is composed only by women, the eligible books must be written (in French) by women, and it’s meted by mid April, when lilacs blossom, during a magical soirée to celebrate literature. Emmanuelle de Boysson, novelist and journalist, is the president of the jury, while Tatiana de Rosnay (novelist) is the vice-president. Jessica Nelson, Stéphanie Janicot, Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre and Carole Chrétiennot (founder of the prize) integrate the permanent jury; another ten literature-related women are invited each year to integrate the panel.



This year the winner was Nantes young writer Julia Kerninon with her second novel, Le dernier amour d’Attila Kiss, a love story conceiving love as a war issue. So, the 3000 €, the 1-year invitation to La Closerie de Lilas, the beautiful Montblanc Meisterstück pen and the Duval-Leroy magnum Femme de Champagne went to this talented and beautiful writer whose first novel, Buvard, had a great success. The other prize in the night, Woman of the year, was given to Juliette Greco by her literary opus. In these days that writing literature is a luxury, this kind of enterprise is really a must in the world. A major thank must be accorded to Miroslav and Colette Siljegovic, owners of the business.



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