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Prix Médicis and Prix Femina spécial for Pierre Guyotat

Pierre Guyotat has been awarded the prestigious Prix Médicis for his most recent book, Idiotie (Grasset, September 2018). In this work Guyotat tells of becoming an adult, his early years in Paris, and his experiences in the Algerian War at the age of just twenty-one.


Furthermore Pierre Guyotat received the Prix Femina spécial for his life’s work, and in October he was presented with the Prix de la langue française, which honors personalities whose work enriches the quality and beauty of the French language.


The exhibition Pierre Guyotat – Figures and Other Voices can be seen and heard until November 29 at ESPACE DIAPHANES.

Pierre Guyotat

Pierre Guyotat

For almost fifty years now Guyotat has been considered one of the most significant avant-gardists and innovators in the French language. Writing, painting, drawing in close touch with music and literature since his early youth, he published his first book in 1961, Sur un cheval. In the same year, called up to the war in Algeria, he was imprisoned for incitement to desertion and the distribution of forbidden literature. With Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats (1967) and Eden, Eden, Eden (1970) he gained wide attention and provoked a sharp controversy including censorship. His radical writing was interrupted when his increasingly severe physical and mental exhaustion culminated, in late 1981, in a coma. In 2006 he published Coma, which reflects his psychiatric crisis and reached a wide audience. His numerous publications show Guyotat's stylistic diversity as well as his permanent altercation with literature.