A French author accused of anti-Semitism is snubbed for a major literary prize

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“These texts and drawings are anti-Semitic, but I am not anti-Semitic,” he said, calling them a childhood mistake of which he was now ashamed, and claiming that “his whole journey as a man” since then had been an effort to “get out” “of this trap”.

Mr. Moix is ​​no stranger to controversy. From 2015 to 2018, he was a biting pundit on a popular late-night talk show. And earlier this year he was criticized for telling a women’s magazine he was “unable” to like women over 50 because they were “too old”. (Mr. Moix is ​​51 years old.)

“Orleans” quickly sparked controversy.

A few days before publication, José Moix, Mr. Moix’s father, told a local newspaper that the novel was “pure fantasy” and that, although he was a strict father who sometimes punished his children, he had never physically assaulted Mr. Moix. In the book, the author describes being whipped with electric cords, dumped in a forest in the middle of the night, and coated in his own excrement.

A few days after publication, Alexandre Moix, Mr. Moix’s brother, wrote in an open letter for the newspaper Le Parisien that it was actually Mr. Moix who had been abusive, and that the future writer had, for example, attempted to throw his brother out the window and drown him in a toilet bowl. Mr. Moix, writes his brother, was a cruel and violent narcissist.

“In his life, my brother has only two obsessions: winning the Goncourt prize and annihilating me,” wrote Mr. Moix’s brother, adding that Mr. Moix “sacrificed reality on the altar of his literary ambitions “. (During a TV appearance, Mr. Moix said “Orléans” was a “novel, not a narrative.”)

In 1996, Mr. Moix won the Prix Goncourt for a first novel, distinct from Goncourt himself, and in 2013 he won the Renaudot, another French literary prize, for his novel “Naissance”, which also explored the childhood trauma.

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