For nearly twenty years, thanks to its Prix de la Ville de Deauville, the Festival Livres & Musiques has explored French literary production and honored contemporary authors for whom music is essential in creation.

Books & Music Festival The Franciscans


 Six novels inspired by music are in competition

By small touches

Philippe Cassard (Le Mercure de France)

Philippe CassardBaptiste Millot

"When I am in Paris, whatever happens and whatever the weather, I make my little tour of the garden. It's a delight for my ears when the rain that falls hard divides into several desks and distributes the timbres, the tempo, the phrasing. Then the garden sounds like a chamber orchestra, very 20th century.

For Philippe Cassard, the great international classical pianist and producer of programs for France-Musique, the Luxembourg garden is the starting point for a Debussy-like reverie that would retrace his entire life "in small steps". Curiosity, greed, exigency, humour. Major figures and places appear, Sviatoslav Richter, Vladimir Horowitz, Christa Ludwig, Natalie Dessay. Besançon, his native town where he gave a solo recital at the age of eight, Chaux-les-Passavant, his father's village, but also Vienna, Dublin, Paris.
And as if in front of a keyboard, this self-portrait evokes the fundamental rules of the piano, the fingering, the sitting, the ease of the body, the adherence of the fingers to the keyboard, the suppleness of the wrists, the permanent work of the scales, the arpeggios, the octave strokes, a teaching that he will like to pass on later in his programs. A delicious journey that starts in the garden, flies into the folds of memory, and returns.

Only Rock 'n Roll : with the Rolling Stones

Michel Crépu (Arléa)

Michel Crepu

What is a classic? A form that does not bore, from which springs an eternal novelty. Usually, you have to wait until you're dead to become a novelty. The Stones didn't have that patience.

And that's what makes them classics.
Only rock and roll is an itinerary in love where rock plays a major role. It is an extraordinary lesson in simplicity. When Mick Jagger is asked for his secret, he replies, "I just go."

Michel Crépu is a French writer and literary critic as well as the editor-in-chief of La Nouvelle Revue française since 2015. Michel Crépu is also a literary critic for Le Masque et la Plume on France Inter, Tout arrive on France Culture, and an occasional contributor to various publications, including Observator cultural, a Romanian literary and cultural magazine.

Paul's variations

Pierre Ducrozet (Actes Sud)

Pierre Ducrozet

After "L'invention des corps" and "Le grand vertige", always in tune with the vibrations of the world, Pierre Ducrozet changes his focus to tell the story of a family whose vital star is music, a family where love (and misunderstandings) circulate in all keys. In this book, we find his energy, his plasticity, his speed in the service of a new depth in an anti-saga freed from models, an intimate, wild and informal history of music in the 20th century, a novel that dances and sounds like a concert and a storm. Close to the characters, in the exploration of what binds and unbinds them, "Paul's Variations" captures us and moves us.

Pierre Ducrozet is notably the author of Eroica (Grasset, 2015; Babel no. 1525), L'Invention des corps (Actes Sud, 2017; Babel no. 1617, prix de Flore), and Le Grand vertige (Actes Sud, 2020; Babel no. 1827, prix Mottart de l'Académie française). Variations de Paul is his sixth novel.

The Dancing Man

Victor Jestin (Flammarion)

Victor Jestin

La Plage is the name of the nightclub in a small town on the banks of the Loire. It is there that Arthur, since his adolescence and during more than twenty years, goes with frenzy. In this timeless place, far from ordinary social relations, he curiously manages to feel close to others, when everywhere else his life is only uneasiness and stammering. On the dance floor, he grows up through encounters - fleeting loves, violent friendships, crushing male models. Over the years, he searches for a place in the crowd, a way to exist. How far will this plunge into the night take him?
With his precise writing, Victor Jestin takes us closer to the intimacy of a man who struggles with his solitude, in the obsessive hope of loving.

Victor Jestin spent his childhood in Nantes and is now 27 years old. His first novel La Chaleur (Flammarion 2019) won the Prix de la Vocation and the Prix Femina des lycéens, has been translated in several countries and is currently being adapted for film.

Russian Roulette

Léonore Quéffélec (Anne Carrière)

Leonore Queffelec Dominique Desrue

On the Boeing to Baltimore, while it is night, there is Brigitte the pianist and Léonore, six years old. The child misses school, as she often does, to follow the concert pianist across the continents. She knows that she is the daughter of an atypical artist consumed by passion. She knows that she must fight with all her energy as a child to survive the anxiety of her genius mother. She knows that Brigitte is an authoritarian diva as much as a frightened little girl. She knows that this Slavic soul dreams of a Russian prince, a little peasant, like Tolstoy, and she would like to find him for her. She knows that the musician and her absolute ear hear everything about her sadness, so she takes her around in stories that make them laugh. She already knows that when her mother dies, the world will lose its grandeur and poetry.

Léonore Queffélec is an actress and journalist. Russian Roulette is her first book.

The Theremin Fugue

Emmanuel Vilin (Asphalt)

Emmanuel Villin

Born under the Czar, Lev Theremin died in 1993. He was a soldier in the Red Army, met Lenin, conquered the United States, made his fortune... and went to the Gulag. In 1920, this genius Russian engineer designed an avant-garde musical instrument, the only one that can be played without touching it: the theremin. With the only movement of the hands, electricity starts to sing, producing a strange sound, as if coming from elsewhere. From Hitchcock to the Beach Boys, from electronic music to Neil Armstrong, a whole part of 20th century popular culture succumbed to the theremin's spell.

In The Theremin Fugue, Lev is the hero of the novel of his life, between his glorious European and American tours at the end of the 1920s, the splendor of his New York life and his disappointed loves in the shadow of the Great Depression. But despite the success of his invention, no one in the high Soviet spheres will forget to call him to order regarding his mission.

Emmanuel Villin was born in 1976. Sporting Club, his first novel (Stanislas Prize selection for First Novel, Winner of the Ecrire la ville 2019 Prize) was published by Asphalte in 2016 (then by Folio, 2018). Microfilm followed in 2018. His new novel, La Fugue Thérémine, is a finalist for the Escale du livre, Libraires en Seine and Livres et Musique de Deauville readers' awards.

Previous winners

2022 - Matthieu MEGEVAND, All that is beautiful, Flammarion
2021 - Jean-Baptiste ANDREA, Of devils and saintsL'Iconoclaste
2020 - Akira MIZUBAYASHI, Broken soulGallimard
2019 - Jean MATTERN, Le bleu du lac, Sabine Wespieser
2018 - Pascal QUIGNARD, In this garden that we lovedGrasset
2017 - Frédérique DEGHELT, Libertango, Actes Sud
2016 - Virginie DESPENTES, Vernon Subutex 2, Grasset
2015 - Michel BERNARD, Les forêts de RavelLa Table ronde And Célia HOUDART, Gil, POL
2014 - Gilles LEROY, Nina SimoneMercure de France
2013 - Bruno LE MAIRE, Absolute music : a rehearsal with Carlos Kleiber, Gallimard
2012 - Stéphane HEAUME, Shéridan SquareLe Seuil and Philippe
and Scarlett RELIQUET, Listening to Handel, Gallimard
2011 - Nicolas D'ESTIENNE D'ORVES, Jacques Offenbach, Actes Sud
2010 - Colette FELLOUS, For Dalida, Flammarion
2009 - Stanislas MERHAR, Small poisonsFayard
2008 - Valentine GOBY, L'échappéeGallimard
2007 - Alain GERBER, Paul Desmond and the feminine side of the world, Fayard
2006 - Jean ECHENOZ, Ravel, Minuit
2005 - Max GENEVE, The ViolinistZulma
2004 - Maxence FERMINE, Amazone, Albin Michel


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