Philippe CLAUDEL




Born in 1962 in the town of Dombasle-sur-Meurthe in the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, in Lorraine, Philippe Claudel is a novelist and author of screenplays. Having earned his university degree in literature, he chose, after several years teaching high school, a different path: teaching children with physical disabilities, detainees in the remand center in Nancy . . . and, then, at the University of Nancy II, where he taught cultural anthropology and literature.

Since publication of his first novel in 1999, he has put together a string of literary successes.  He garnered much attention for his novels J’abandonne (literally, I Give Up), a literary prize winner in 2000 (le prix France Télévisions), and for Le Bruit des Trousseaux (literally, The Rustling of the keys). He has two other works to his credit which have won other prestigious French literary awards:  Les Petites Mécaniques, a short story collection that, as the French title suggests, is a treatment of life as if it were mechanical and subject to breakdowns caused by grit mucking up the works, “grit” in this case being abandonment, madness, love and loss (a 2003 Goncourt award for novellas) and the screenplay Les Ames Grises (the 2003 Prix Renaudot), literally Grey Souls, which will be published in English in June 2006.

His most recent novel, La Petite-Fille de Monsieur Linh (literally, Monsieur Linh’s Granddaughter), was a big hit this past winter in France.

His interest in writing going back as far as he can remember, Philippe Claudel, a great admirer of Simenon and of Giono’s writing from the period after the war, masterfully weaves together universes where simplicity, in a lightly colored lacework, floats above and tries to hide the dark dramas that mark our lives.

Since 2004, Philippe Claudel has been director of a new imprint of the publisher Stock called Ecrivins, which sets for itself the task of publishing four times a year the work of a writer where the only requirement is that wine be used  either as the backdrop or simply evoked in some way.

Format of the lecture

During this tour of “author appearances” rather than lectures, Philippe Claudel will read passages from his books, in hopes of initiating informal exchanges with readers on the subject of his work as a writer, as well as other topics.

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Tour program

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  • Fondation Alliance Française
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  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Federation of Alliance Française USA

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