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March 10, 2021

Jean-Baptiste Andréa, winner of the 2021 Deauville literary prize

Music inspires them in their writings and in their lives. Classical, jazz, rock, world music, whatever, they all have in common an insatiable appetite for notes. For more than fifteen years, the Books & Music Festival of Deauville, thanks to its prize, has explored French literary production and honors contemporary authors for whom music is one of the challenges of creation. After having awarded Jea Mattern in 2019, the winner of the 2021 edition has just been unveiled: it is Jean-Baptiste Andréa for his novel "Des diables et des saints", published on January 14 by L 'editions. iconoclastic. The prize, endowed with € 4500, will be awarded to him on June 26 at the Franciscaines, the new cultural facility in Deauville. This ceremony, included in the festival program, will be followed by a conversation with the winner, illustrated in music and punctuated by a reading of extracts by the actress Anne-Marie Philipe. 


© Céline Nieszawer

The novel

Joseph is an old man who divinely plays Beethoven on public pianos. We meet him one day in a train station, another in an airport. He wastes his talent as a concert performer in the midst of indifferent travelers. He is waiting. But who, and why?
When he was sixteen, the teenager was sent to a religious boarding school in the Pyrenees, Les Confins. It's all in the name. After Les Confins, there is nothing left. Here, we take in the abandoned, the left behind. The days are made up of routine, chores, mistreatment.
Until the meeting with Rose.
On orphan childhood and love on the run, Des diables et des saints is the third novel by Jean-Baptiste Andrea, author with strong and singular talent, multi-award-winning.

A book where one succumbs completely. The theme of the public piano which is in general can be treated in literature is well represented there. A very beautiful incarnation of music and literature which corresponds to our Prize.
Jerôme Garcin, president of the Books & Music jury

Seven novels inspired by music were in competition

Little Louis, Claire JULLIARD, The word and the rest
This beautiful summer 1964, Pierre FILOCHE, Serge Safran
Putzi, Thomas SNEGAROFF, Gallimard
The night of 5-7, Jean-Pierre MONTAL, Séguier
Anchise's nephew, Maryline DESBIOLLES, Seuil
Where we danced, Judith PERRIGNON, Rivages
Devils and Saints, Jean-Baptiste ANDREA, L'iconoclaste


The winners since the creation of the award

2019: Jean Mattern, Le Bleu du lac, Sabine Wespieser editor
2018: Pascal Quignard, In this garden we loved, Grasset
2017: Frédérique Deghelt, Libertango, Éditions Actes Sud
2016: Virginie Despentes, Vernon Subutex Vol 2., Éditions Grasset
2015: Michel Bernard, The forests of Ravel, Editions La Table round and Gil by Célia Houdart POL
2014: Gilles Leroy, Nina Simone, Éditions Mercure de France
2013: Bruno Le Maire, Absolute Music: a rehearsal with Carlos Kleiber, Éditions Gallimard
2012: Stéphane Héaume, Shéridan Square, Éditions Seuil and special jury prize to Philippe and Scarlett Reliquet, Ecouter Haendel, Éditions Gallimard
2011: Nicolas d'Estienne d'Orves, Jacques Offenbach, Éditions Actes Sud
2010: Colette Fellous, For Dalida, Flammarion Editions
2009: Stanislas Merhar, Petits poisons, Éditions Fayard
2008: Valentine Goby, L'Escée, Editions Gallimard
2007: Alain Gerber, Paul Desmond and the feminine side of the world, Éditions Fayard
2006: Jean Echenoz, Ravel, Éditions de Minuit
2005: Max Genève, The violinist, Éditions Zulma
2004: Maxence Firmine, Amazone, Éditions Albin Michel