Michel Houellebecq wins Prix Goncourt
9th November 2010
French author Michel Houellebecq has been awarded the Prix Goncourt, one of the country's most coveted literary prizes.
Houellebecq, whose works include The Possibility of an Island, Atomised and Platform, was given the honour for his latest novel La Carte et Le Territoire (The Map and The Territory), which is yet to be translated into English.
'Among all the people who are going to discover my books thanks to this prize, I hope I won't disappoint them and they'll be happy,' the author told reporters.
The award, which carries a nominal prize of EUR 10 (GBP 8.61), is awarded by the Academie Goncourt each November and seeks to recognise the most imaginative prose work of the year.
In winning the prize, Houellebecq saw off competition from a shortlist that featured Apocalypse Baby by Virginie Despentes, Mathias Enard's Tell Them About Battles, Kings and Elephants and Birth of a Bridge by Maylis Kerangal.
Last year, the Prix Goncourt was awarded to Marie Ndiaye for Three Powerful Women. Previous recipients include Simone de Beauvoir, Marcel Proust and Marguerite Duras.