On Tuesday, the Goncourt and Renaudot jurors gathered at the Drouant restaurant in Paris to announce the name of their winner. Jean-Baptiste Andrea won the most prestigious literary award, the Goncourt, with Veillez sur elle (L’Iconoclaste) in the 14th round with the double voice of President Didier Decoin. Ann Scott immediately received the 2023 Renaudot prize with Les Insolents (Calmann-Lévy). With her subtle novel about our times in search of meaning, Ann Scott has defied all predictions. Indeed, all the punters in the literary world had bet their last pennies on Gaspard Koenig and his fable about earthworms.

The 58-year-old author entered literature with Superstars, a book adored by the trendy press who described it as “the first credible French pop novel”. Idol of Generation It was at this moment, while she was walking the catwalks, that she chose this pseudonym in homage to Francis Scott Fitzgerald. This friend and former roommate of Virginie Despentes had published in 2020 an incandescent novel about the life of internet sentinels who helped prevent, in four years, six jihadist attacks.

Far from these shadowy vigilantes, Les Insolents tells the story of the arrival “in the middle of nowhere” of Alex, a film music composer who decides to leave the capital to reinvent herself, wishing to live “elsewhere and alone”. The character is a fictional double of the author, who left Paris for Brittany, where she now lives.

At 45, angry with her best friend, leaving a toxic romantic relationship and tired of Paris, the narrator, a musician, finds a rental by the sea, and leaves everything… This novel attempts to grasp this tenuous space between assumed solitude and need for others, between city and countryside, between desire and confrontation with reality, in a topsy-turvy world.

The Renaudot jurors awarded their prize for the essay to De Gaulle, une vie, by Jean-Luc Barré.