Patrick Grainville

Patrick Grainville (born 1 June 1947 Villers-sur-Mer, Calvados) is a French novelist.

He spent his childhood in Villerville, a small town east of Deauville. An Associate Professor of Letters, he received the Prix Goncourt in 1976, 29 years old, for his fourth novel, Les Flamboyants, (The Flasher).[1]

He has written extensively on Africa, where he undertook a cooperative mission.[2] He is professor of French at the Lycée Evariste Galois in Sartrouville.

Patrick Grainville is also literary critic for Le Figaro.


Patrick Grainville spent his childhood in Normandy, regularly going to hunt and to peach with his father,[3] businessman and mayor of Villerville. He attended the André Maurois lycee in Deauville, then Malherbe in Caen, before winning admission to his higher education at the Lycée Henri-IV and to the Sorbonne where he prepares his civil service competitive examination. At the age of 19 years Patrick wrote first manuscript7, then in 25 he published his first novel "The Fleece",[4] which was immediately accepted by Gallimard.[5] Just before dying, Henry de Montherlant predicted him great future and lauded his specific style. His next novel The Edge failed the Goncourt in 1973, in the fifth tour against The ogre by Jacques Chessex,[6] to the great displeasure of Michel Tournier who supported it in jury.[7]



Having compared with Jean Giono[8] for his wild novels linked to elements and to Louis-Ferdinand Céline for his «verbal excess»,[9] Patrick Grainville distanced himself from this inheritance by a fantastique and dream which impregnates his work: the mythological Amazon (La Diane rousse), return to original animality (The Shadow of the animal), secrets and conspiracies[10] (The black Fortresses), the narrator observer of underworld (The eternal Tyrant), or the animals who manage the destiny of men (Light of the rat, The Kiss of the octopus). Writer of the two centuries, following the example of Huysmans but having digested Proust,[11] Nouveau roman and «the academic ressassements of some realism», according to Michel Tournier Patrick Grainville opened the «new way» which led to the XXI century.

Painting by words

Patrick Grainville always had a passion to a painting, which was his inspirer and saved him from himself, allowing to be in progress.[12]




Books for youth


Radio dramas



  1. "L'estampe érotique de Patrick Grainville", L'Express, Baptiste Liger, 01/02/2010
  3. Episodes which he notably recalled in L'Orgie, la Neige
  4. Grainville, la vérité crashée, Jean-Baptiste Harang in Libération 6 January 2000.
  5. in a letter addressed to the author on September 12, 1972, published on the occasion of Prix Goncourt for The Flamboyants in Le Monde dated from November 17th 1976, p. 31.
  6. La compagnie des écrivains by Gérard Valbert at Éditions L'Âge d'Homme, 2003, p. 272.
  7. To greet Grainville, Michel Tournier, Le Figaro dated from November 24th, 1973.
  8. Le grand cérémonial des mots, Claude Bonnefoy, Les Nouvelles littéraires, 3e année, no 2456 du 21-27 octobre 1974.
  9. Dictionnaire des Ecrivains de langue française (Jean-Pierre de Beaumarchais, Daniel Couty et Alain Rey), comparaisons et citation de Jean-Pierre Damour, éditions Larousse, 2001.
  10. Les Forteresses noires par Alain Dorémieux, Fiction no. 330 du 1er juin 1982, article relayé le 7 mars 2009 par le site de NooSFere.
  11. « L'événement le plus important, c'est A la recherche du temps perdu. Le maniérisme absolu et la profondeur vertigineuse ».
  12. L'épopée des Nymphéas de Claude Monet by Patrick Grainville, Le Figaro December 16, 2010.
  13. no. 25, Groupe Bayard, mars 1986.
  14. La genèse de la pièce, adaptation libre du mythe d'Isis et d'Osiris, est racontée dans La Main blessée, Éditions du Seuil, 2005, p. 117 et suivantes.


Quotations (anthologies and trials)

External links

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