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David Foenkinos

David Foenkinos - King of literary awards for Charlotte

By Marie Decreme

Double win for David Foenkinos: after winning the Prix Renaudot two weeks ago, the 40-year-old French author received the Goncourt des lycéens (High School Students Goncourt Prize) for Charlotte. A first!

“My greatest love story as a writer”

Charlotte is about Charlotte Salomon, a Jewish artist murdered at the age of twenty-six, when she was pregnant. David Foenkinos discovered by chance one of her works in a museum…

“And it just happened.

The feeling of having finally found what I was looking for.

The unexpected outcome of my attractions.

My wanderings had brought me to the right place”









…he fell in love. For eight years, the author's investigations followed in Charlotte's footsteps in Berlin and the South of France. He then reconstructed the life of this exceptional artist in a 220-page novel, written as if it were a long song.

"I could not manage to write two sentences in a row

I felt low at every full stop.

Impossible to move forward.

It was a physical sensation, an oppression.

I felt the need to go to the line to breathe.

Then, I understood I had to write it this way."

Then, I understood I had to write it this way. »The shape is surprising, unexpected. As if he has to catch his breath, David Foenkinos tells the tragic story of this woman in free verse.

Double award

David Foenkinos managed to share his passion for his heroine. With two literary prizes, Charlotte has seduced the young and the not so young. At the beginning of November, the writer received the prestigious Prix Renault, « a wonderful lighting (…) for her and her memory. » Then, two weeks later, David Foenkinos won the Goncourt des lycéens (High school Students Goncourt Prize): the book was chosen among fifteen other works by 2000 students aged from 15 to 18. « The Prix Goncourt des lycéens was a dream for me, for this novel », the laureate declared.

Charlotte is David Foenkinos’s thirteenth novel. He is today one of the biggest-selling French authors in the world. In 2012, with his brother Stéphane, he adapted his book Delicacy for the cinema. The film with Audrey Tautou and François Damien was nominated for the Best Debut Film Cesar. One of his other best-selling books, Les Souvenirs (2013), was adapted by Jean-Paul Rouve into a film which will be released in January 2015. Will Charlotte have its own cinematographic adaptation as well? We look forward to it.


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