LE FIGARO – What is your feeling when you learned the happy news?

NICOLAS MATHIEU – A moment of amazement, surprise, and joy. Acts South had had in the past year, I wasn’t expecting particularly.

” READ ALSO – Nicolas Mathieu, the prix Goncourt 2018 for Their children after them

The novel describes a working environment, modest. It is a world that you know of?

This is a bit of the world where I was born. I come from a middle-class average, France device, my father is a little world. But Their children after them does not tell my life, it tells of the lives that I know and that are important to me. This makes me very happy that this book, which is both an attempt at literary and political, will be crowned. Attempt policy, of course, because as soon as one speaks of the way in which people live, love, hate, try to live together, how it is necessary and always a little impossible, it’s political.

on The balcony of the restaurant Drouant, Paris IIe. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP

It seems that at the age of fourteen, you knew you wanted to become a writer…

not at the age of fourteen. At seven years old! But I put a very long time to know what I could write, because it is not necessary to write the books that we like, those we like to read, it is necessary to write the books of which it is capable, with the history that it carries, so it took me time. I have 40 years old, this is my second title here so I just catch up with a lot of delay!

” READ ALSO – Their children after them, of Nicolas Mathieu: the road of bondage

Are your characters inspired by people you have known?

Yes, they are, more or less. Still, it’s the characters and stories in the real and then after it becomes something else…

Is there a part of your adolescence in this book?

Absolutely. In one of the characters there is a part of me, but I’m not going to say which precisely. It is a novel that made the effort to make the present time, the word that obsessed me throughout the writing, it was “restitution”. I tried to restore this that are our lives, how it works, and it actually runs through the details, an anchorage in the real. The real is my concern.

you thought You were having a day of the prix Goncourt?

Not every day when I shave. But I have to admit that yes, lately. But the Goncourt, it is not an end in itself. My job is to write not to win awards, but I am delighted that I have been assigned. I dedicate this award to my son, Oscar, it is to him that I think this morning, it has five and a half years.

The prix Goncourt 2018 awarded to Nicolas Mathieu – Watching on Figaro Live