On Thursday October 6th, 2022, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to novelist Annie Ernaux. She is the first Frenchwoman amongst the 17 female winners of this prize since 1901.

According to the Swedish Academy, this award was presented to her for the “courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory” in her autobiographical books.

As an internationally renowned author, she has sold millions of copies of her work, which has been adapted to the big screen (The Possession, Simple Passion and Happening), translated into several languages and is studied today in the English-speaking academic world, especially in the United States.

Books hold a crucial role in the French culture, with 16,500 public reading places being open to the French population. In 2021, the National Book Centre (CNL), attached to the Ministry of Culture, granted €16 million in exceptional credits to ensure the economic revival of the most fragile players in the sector. In addition, €19.1 million were distributed in the form of grants and loans.

Between 2020 and 2021, the number of books sold in France has gone up by 15.3%, ensuring a 12.4% boost to publishers’ revenues over the same period. This is the most spectacular development since 2015.

In 2020, one million people worked in the French cultural sector, the equivalent of 3.6% of all jobs. The Ministry’s budget will keep on increasing, with a sum of €11 billion expected to be invested for 2023, the budget will rise by €527 million in comparison with 2022.

For further information on what makes France a leading country in the cultural sector, visit the Invest in France website here.


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