The Goncourt prize for high school students 2021 awarded to Clara Dupont-Monod

BOOKS – Once again distinguished. After the Femina and the Landerneau for readers in October, Clara Dupont-Monod received this Thursday, November 25 the Goncourt prize for high school students 2021 for her book Adapt, published by Stock editions. She succeeds Djaïli Amadou Amal, winner last year for her novel The impatientpublished by Emmanuelle Collas.

The journalist and writer, elected on the first ballot by some 2,000 voting students, won against four finalists: Christine Angot, The Journey to the East (Flammarion), Anne Berest, Postcard (Grasset), Patrice Franceschi, If there’s only one left (Grasset) and Lilia Hassaine, bitter sun (Gallimard).

In Adaptfiction released on August 25, Clara Dupont-Monod tells the story of the birth of a disabled child, and the upheaval it causes in the siblings of the family.

It is the story of a child with black eyes that float, and escape into the vagueness, a child always lying down, with soft and plump cheeks, with translucent legs veined with blue, with a thread of high voice, with crooked feet and a hollow palate, an eternal baby, a maladjusted child who draws an invisible border between his family and the others.

This is the story of his place in the Cévennes house where he was born, in the midst of powerful nature and protective mountains; of his place in the siblings and in the upset childhoods. That of the eldest who merges with the child, who, cheek to cheek, attentive and almost Siamese, attaches himself to it, abandons himself to it and gets lost in it.

That of the youngest, in whom disgust and anger are implanted, the rejection of the child who sucks the joy of his parents and the energy of the eldest. That of the youngest who lives in the shadow of family ghosts while carrying the rebirth of a present beyond memory.

Critically Acclaimed

“I am really very moved. It’s as if they were welcoming this sibling who had to adapt a little”, reacted the main interested party after the award ceremony.

Critically acclaimed upon publication, Adapt was also in the running for the Goncourt, won by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr in early November.

“One hundred years later, Clara Dupond-Monod achieves the feat of neutralizing her compatriot Gide and his terrible curse: Families, I hate you”, had in particular praised the writer Étienne de Montety in the columns of the Literary Figaro early September.

“His story is unusual in its theme and treatment. It overwhelms us because it describes the family as a place of life that is never stabilized, always wobbly and yet, thanks to the ties forged, solid: this wounded being who could have been an explosive for the family unit was the cement stronger,” he added.

The author will receive her prize during an official ceremony organized this Thursday evening at the Ministry of National Education, in the presence of Jean-Michel Blanquer.

See also on The HuffPost: The Prix Goncourt 2020 via Zoom did not go smoothly

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The Goncourt prize for high school students 2021 awarded to Clara Dupont-Monod