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A brilliant renewer of fairy tale traditions

Jean-Claude Mourlevat is one of France’s leading children and young adult authors. With a particular love for fairy tale, fable and fantasy, he draws on literary traditions to create worlds that resemble no other. Since his publishing debut in 1997, his books have been translated into nearly 30 languages.

Quick facts

Name Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Birthyear 1952
Country France
Profession Author
Award year 2021
Formative reading experience Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

The jury’s motivation

"Jean-Claude Mourlevat is a brilliant renewer of fairy tale traditions, open to both hardship and beauty. Time and space are suspended in his fictional worlds, and eternal themes of love and longing, vulnerability and war are portrayed in precise and dreamlike prose. Mourlevat’s ever-surprising work pins the fabric of ancient epic onto a contemporary reality."

The land where this story begins is inhabited by animals who can walk on their hind legs, talk, borrow books from the library, fall in love, send text messages and go to the hairdresser's. The neighboring country is home to humans, who are the most intelligent of animals.

- Jean-Claude Mourlevat from Jefferson