Gathered at the Carnavalet museum in Paris, the exclusively female jury chose its winner in the first round, by six votes against three to Grégoire Bouillier.
“A dog at my table” tells how the arrival of a young dog will change the life of a young couple in the depths of the Vosges.
Claudie Hunzinger, 82, also a visual artist, won the December prize in 2019 with her previous novel, “Les Grands Cerfs”.
“It’s recognition from a magnificent jury,” she told reporters.
“This dog comes to take shelter in this house, and his arrival will create a companionship, a very strong friendship, not to say a love (…) It is the small domestic dog who will be a great humanist, and who is not going to let go of the woman until she has saved something from humanity”, she told.
The Femina prize for the foreign novel went to the Briton Rachel Cusk, based in Paris. She signs “La Dépendance” (Gallimard), fiction about a camera between three couples won over by pride.
The Femina essay prize was awarded to historian Annette Wieviorka for “Tombs, autobiography of my family” (Seuil).
This Holocaust specialist explores her Ashkenazi ancestry and the tragic fate of Polish Jews who arrived in France a century ago.
“It’s kind of an accomplishment of all the work I’ve done before, which I hope has allowed me to restore what their life has been, their destiny, trying to put myself next to them. ‘them,” she told AFP.
A special prize was awarded for all of his work to the Franco-Polish Krzysztof Pomian, author of a sum in three volumes, “The Museum, a world history” (Gallimard).
The president of the jury, Évelyne Bloch-Dano, praised the quality of the books published by women for this start of the 2022 school year. “We are sensitive, to Femina, to writing. This poetic style, this lyricism, ‘we loved,’ she said, referring to the novels by Claudie Hunzinger and Rachel Cusk.
Two last great autumn literary prizes remain to be awarded: the Medici on Tuesday and the Interallié on Wednesday.