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Hervé Le Tellier

Mathematician, linguist, and writer

He embarked on his scientific career as a scientific journalist but has also worked as a literary critic and publisher, as well as writing for the French press and in satirical publications, and taking part in radio programmes. A prolific writer with a taste for surrealism and innovation, he has published some thirty works ranging from novels, poetry, theatre, erotic stories, and humorous pieces to fictitious biographies. With a PhD in Linguistics and a thesis on constrained writing, he has been a member of Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) since 2002, and its fourth president since 2019. In 2020, he was awarded the Prix Goncourt for his latest novel L’Anomalie (published in Catalan as L’anomalia by Grup 62 / Seix Barral), a speculative thriller that assesses human behaviour when faced with a peculiar situation: the fact of coming face to face with a doppelganger. The book, written in a variety of styles with numerous wordplays and displays of constrained writing, has been a literary phenomenon in France where more than a million copies have been sold.

Update: 16 July 2021