Mathias Énard (1972, Niort) is a French journalist, writer and translator. He trained at the École du Louvre, and specialized in Arabic and Persian cultures at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO). He lived in the Middle East for a number of years and in 2000 he moved to Barcelona. He contributes to magazines (Inculte, de Paris, and Lateral, de Barcelone) and translates works from Persian and Arabic. His first novel was La perfection du tir, winner of two awards. In 2005, Remonter l’Orénoque was published, of which a film adaptation was made: À coeur ouvert. Zone, published in 2008, has received many accolades.
In 2010 he taught Arabic at the University of Barcelona and published Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d’éléphants, winner of the Goncourt des Lycéens Award 2010. An enthusiast of contemporary art, he created Scrawitch print editions and a gallery of the same name in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. In 2012 he published L’alcool et la nostalgie and Rue des voleurs, an extensive reflection on commitment and revolution, which won the Choix Goncourt de l’Orient Prize. In 2015 he received the Goncourt Award for his novel Boussole, which contains references to the Syrian War, and is devoted to the people of Syria. In 2016 he received l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture for his literary work.
Mathias Énard received the 2016 LiberPress Literature Prize for his commitment to rebellious, deep and caring writing that seeks to reconcile ideas, civilisations and cultures, denouncing wars and violence, and delving into people’s souls to find both their weaknesses and the tender traces of their humanity; and for his constant cultural activism in support of art through writing, languages and the image, among many other fields.