Alexis Jenni, a Debut Novelist, Receives France's Top Literary Prize

A 48-year-old biology teacher from Lyon, Alexis Jenni, has won France’s most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt, for his novel The French Art of War. According to news reports, Mr. Jenni writes on the weekends and while this novel was his third completed manuscript it was the first to get published.

“A journey through France’s military history in Indochina, Algeria and at home, Jenni’s 600-page novel is told through the eyes of Victorien Salagnon, a war veteran who becomes a painter, and the young man he teaches to paint in exchange for writing his story,” reports the Guardian.The book has already sold 56,000 copies in France and now will likely sell hundreds of thousands more. The sales will be nice, because the monetary prize for the award is only a token 10 Euros. Michel Houellebecq won last year.

Hopefully an American publisher will snap the book up soon!