GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The most coveted prize in the French literary world could well go to a young Geneva writer, Joël Dicker, named 30 October as one of four finalists for the Goncourt Prize. The 27-year-old’s second novel, La vérité sur l’affaire Harry Québert (publisher: l’Age d’Homme), is a thriller and saga about a young writer in the US in 2008.
Hero Marcus Goldman, already a hot success as a writer, has a key deadline looming, but he develops writer’s block just as the presidential elections are gearing up. His world is turned upside down when a former professor and mentor is accused of killing a 15-year-old with whom he is accused of having had an affair, 13 years earlier.
The Goncourt winner, whose book will receive a 400,000 print run, will be named 7 November, fittingly for Dicker, just a day after the US presidential election.
Dicker, who has spent lengthy stretches in the US, only last week won the prestigious Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie française.
Ed. note: RTS carries an interview with him at one of his writing haunts in Geneva, which you can view if you’re in Switzerland.