Imagine the city of Paris during the Occupation. A German army officer named Ludwig is busy at his assigned duties, confiscating objects of art for the Nazis. Since he was a child, Ludwig has always had a single-minded love of art, and cared little for his fellow human beings. He is excellent at his job. That is, until his sentimentalities unexpectedly begin to change after he meets the enchanting Lucette. So begins "Un Collectionneur Allemand" (A German Collector), the debut novel by Manuel Benguigui.
Virtually unknown as an author, Benguigui has been the Gallery Director of Galerie Meyer Oceanic Art in Paris, a dealer of tribal art and antiques from Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Australia, since 2002.
His book was recently nominated for the 2017 Prix Goncourt (Goncourt Prize), the most prestigious French literary award. If Benguigui is named the winner, his life, like that of his character, is likely to quickly change. Although the prize money for the Prix Goncourt, which has been awarded every year since 1903, has hardly changed since the first year, and is today worth only about USD $11, the fame that accompanies the competition results in the prize winning book each year becoming an instant best seller, and its author an overnight millionaire.
“Un Collectionneur Allemand” is currently only published in French by Mercure de France. The winner of the prize will be announced on 3 May 2017.
Galerie Meyer is a long time member of MasterArt. The MasterArt team sends its congratulations to Manuel and wishes him all the best!