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AFP
November 8, 2018
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Bleak teenage tale wins top book prize

World

AFP
November 8, 2018

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PARIS: Nicolas Mathieu scooped France’s top Goncourt literary prize on Wednesday for his second novel, a coming-of-age tale set against a backdrop of industrial decline and teenage lust.

"Leurs enfants apres eux" (Their children after them) follows a group of teenagers growing up in the 1990s in Mathieu’s native eastern France. Mathieu, a 40-year-old ex-journalist, said he had spent "18 months locked up in a room" to write the book.

"And suddenly I find myself here like a rabbit caught in the headlights," he told a crowd of reporters in the famed Drouant restaurant in Paris, where the Goncourt is awarded each year. Set over four summers, the novel follows the friends as they dream of escaping a dreary industrial town where the blast furnaces have fallen silent.

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