Hotel Le Bois des Chambres & Restaurant Le Grand Chaume



published at 16/04/2018
Jean Echenoz is a French novelist and writer and winner of the Prix Médicis in 1983 for Cherokee and the Prix Goncourt, in 1999, for Je m’en vais.
Born in Orange in 1947, Jean Echenoz spent his youth in the Aveyron and Basses-Alpes, studied sociology at university in Aix-en-Provence and then moved to Paris in 1970 where he enrolled in the École Pratique des Hautes Études and attended classes at the Sorbonne. 
In 1979, he published his first book, Le Méridien de Greenwich, which won the Prix Fénéon in 1980.
To date, he has published 17 novels with Éditions de Minuit and been the recipient of a dozen literary awards. 

Heir to the Nouveau roman (avant-garde French novel movement) through his studious attention to language and the possibilities of storytelling, Jean Echenoz has set himself apart by the ironic and comic aspects of his novels, peopled by weary, drifting and laughable characters placed in surprising or incongruous situations. His style is therefore a mix of highly diverse influences and citations from Laurence Sterne (British writer, 1713-1768) or Diderot (1713-1784) to spy novels. He also draws extensive inspiration from the world of cinema and incorporates the style of jazz with its variations, syncopation and dissonance.

This is a man who, when he is not writing or reading, professes to enjoy strolling around cities and watching what’s going on in the street. Each page of his books is teeming with details of all sorts, sometimes useful for the plot’s progression, but more deliberately downright digressive, gradually painting an extraordinary and comic picture of our time, our urban or rural settings and the daily habits of the contemporary individual.

For Echenoz, places are characters, drivers of fiction, of possibilities, the subjects and objects of storytelling. And every time he visits friends, he plants trees in their grounds and gardens “as he plans things over the very long term: he reforests and any time is a good time”. For him, the aim is to “plant trees whose trunks will be used to build the future royal fleet. From these acorns he buries, masts, hulls, bridges and steerage will grow…”


  1. Jean ECHENOZ, President of the jury
  2. Bernard FAIVRE D’ARCIER, President of the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire
  3. Chantal COLLEU-DUMOND, Director of the Domain and International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire 
  4. Marie-Paule BASSAN, Artistic consultant
  5. Olivier BEDOUELLE, Member of the UNEP National Office – landscape businesses
  6. Bénédicte BOUDASSOU, Journalist
  7. Richard CAYEUX, Iris breeder
  8. Marc CLARAMUNT, Director of the National School of Nature and Landscape of Blois
  9. Soazig DEFAULT, Landscaper, journalist 
  10. Ariane DELILEZ, Secretary-General of the French Landscape Federation
  11. Jean-Marc DIMANCHE, Artistic consultant
  12. Pascal GARBE, Director of the Laquenexy Fruit Gardens [Moselle]
  13. Jean-Pierre LE DANTEC, Historian, writer, engineer and former director of the National School of Architecture of Paris - La Villette
  14. Pierre-Adrien LAGNEAU, Plant Manager / Truffaut  
  15. Sylvie LIGNY, Journalist
  16. Dominique MASSON, Advisor for Gardens, World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage / Centre-Loire Valley Regional Directorate for Cultural Affairs (DRAC)
  17. Catherine MULLER, President of the UNEP National Office – landscape businesses
  18. Vincent PIVETEAU, Director of the National School of Landscape of Versailles
  19. Luzia SIMONS, Artist
  20. Didier WILLERY, Author, journalist and botanical consultant 
  21. Bernard CHAPUIS, Landscaper

Novels, stories and novellas

  1. Le Méridien de Greenwich, éditions de Minuit, 1979
  2. Cherokee, Minuit, 1983 (“Double”, 2003)
  3. L’Équipée malaise, Minuit, 1986 (“Double”, 1999)
  4. L’Occupation des sols, Minuit, 1988 ; Lac, Minuit, 1989 (“Double”, 2008)
  5. Nous trois, Minuit, 1992 (“Double”, 2010)
  6. Les Grandes Blondes, Minuit, 1995 (“Double”, 2006)
  7. Un an, Minuit, 1997 (“Double”, 2014)
  8. Je m’en vais, Minuit, 1999 (“Double”, 2001)
  9. Jérôme Lindon, Minuit, 2001
  10. Au piano, Minuit, 2002
  11. Ravel, Minuit, 2006 ; Courir, Minuit, 2008
  12. Des éclairs, Minuit, 2010 ; 14, Minuit, 2012
  13. Caprice de la reine, récits, Minuit, 2014
  14. Envoyée spéciale, Minuit, 2016


  1. 1982 : Le Rose et le Blanc by Robert Pansard-Besson – co-scriptwriter 
  2. 1985 : Le Tueur assis (téléfilm) by Jean-André Fieschi – co-scriptwritere 
  3. 1991 : Cherokee by Pascal Ortega – co-scriptwriter 
  4. 2006 : Un an by Laurent Boulanger – walk-on part


  1. 1980 : Prix Fénéon for Le Méridien de Greenwich
  2. 1983 : Prix Médicis for Cherokee
  3. 1995 : Prix Novembre for Les Grandes Blondes
  4. 1999 : Prix Goncourt for Je m’en vais; Best books of the year in the magazine Lire for Je m’en vais
  5. 2006 : Paul-Morand Grand Prix for Literature; Prix François-Mauriac of the Aquitaine Region for Ravel
  6. 2012 : Prix des vendanges littéraires de Rivesaltes
  7. 2013 : Appointed UNESCO intercultural ambassador; “White Dove” Award (from Tesla Global Forum)
  8. 2016 : Bibliothèque nationale de France Award