The French Academy has awarded the Grand Novel Prize to Greek-origin writer Vassilis Alexakis, for his book, After Christ, which bears the French title Apres J.C. The announcement was made by the French Academy’s Secretary Helene Carrere d’Encausse.
Alexakis won the prize in the second round of voting with 12 votes to six and five respectively for the two other writers, Christophe Donner and Jean Perol. The award, which is accompanied by a prize of 10,000 euros, will be officially awarded on Nov. 9, on the occasion of the Book Festival of Brive.
This award, created in 1986, concerns the work of writers, artists and scientists who contribute with particular style of their works or their actions, to enhance the quality and beauty of the French language. Apres J.C. narrates the adventure of a young historian who attempts to ascertain how holy the monks on Mount Athos are, and for the sake of his 89-year-old landlady Nafsika.
Alexakis was born in Athens in 1943 and went to France at the age of 17 to study at the journalism academy in the city of Lille. He worked as a cartoonist and later as a journalist. He has written many books in French and Greek, including La Lange Maternelle, Je T’oublierai Tous Les Jours, Les mots Etrangers.