“One day it will be empty” by Hugo Lindenberg, Inter 2021 Book Prize

In the 8h newspaper of France Inter, the president of the jury Dany Laferrière announced the winner of the 2021 edition of the Inter Book Prize: One day it will be empty, first novel by Hugo Lindenberg, published at the start of the 2020 school year by Bourgois Editeur.

It took only one ballot to crown the 2021 winner. An achievement that had not happened since 1990 and Daniel Pennac with The little prose merchant “says Eva Bettan, organizer of the prize. However, she reminds that the debates were lively and rich around the selection.

The novelist, very “content“, was the guest of the Matinale on this occasion, to evoke his book on childhood in which he posed words on shame and on difference.”Silence and lies lead to madness and that’s why I dedicated this book to lonely children and the insane.”

Hugo Lindenberg guest of the Matinale de France Inter

The book, already awarded the 2020 Time Rediscovered Prize, tells, during un summer in Normandy, the story of a boy who walks the beach and meets another child of his age named Baptiste. A friendship is quickly formed between the two but the narrator is intimidated by their differences. Baptiste leads a happy life in a beautiful house with perfect parents. While he lives with his immigrant grandmother and an obnoxious aunt. From there an imbalance arises in the meanders of feelings and the weight of the traumas of history.

What interests me with childhood is that it is a particular moment when the identity is not yet fixed, where we do not know very well what is ours, what belongs to others, what takes the event or the personality“explains the author.

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Already sold more than 8,000 copies, Hugo Lindenberg’s novel has been a finalist for numerous awards in recent months, such as the Libraires en Seine and Régine Deforges awards, but also in the second selection of the Femina and SGDL awards. It is also the second consecutive year that a first novel has won, after Before I forget d’Anne Pauly (Verdier), last year. Finally, this is the first time that Bourgois has won this prize.

Hugo Lindenberg, 42, son of historian Daniel Lindenberg, is a journalist. He notably collaborated on the launch of the magazine NEON, before becoming editor-in-chief of Stylist and Thing thing.

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