British writer Julian Barnes receives Légion d’honneur
Author of Flaubert’s Parrot and winner of the 2011 Booker prize is decorated by Ambassador Bermann in recognition of his contribution to French culture
19 June 2017
Julian Barnes has been awarded the Légion d’honneur by Ambassador Bermann at a ceremony at the French Residence.
The award-winning author, who once described himself in The Paris Review as "probably anchored somewhere between the Channel", had previously been awarded the rank of commander in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
On awarding Barnes the rank of officer in the Ordre de la Légion d’honneur, Ambassador Bermann said:
"French readers have enjoyed and admired every single one of your books, and I am honoured to be here tonight with someone who knows so much about France, its codes and its culture, in such depth."
Julian Barnes rose to acclaim in France following the publication of his Booker prize-nominated novel Flaubert’s Parrot in 1984, and has written widely on the subject of French language and identity.
In his collection The Lemon Table, published in 2002, Barnes said that “knowing French” is a synonym for feeling life – understanding experience rather than just memorizing its grammar.
Barnes translated Alphonse Daudet’s La Doulou into English in 2002, published as In the Land of Pain, and in 2011 he was president of the European Book Prize jury in Brussels – the same year that his novel The Sense of an Ending won the Man Booker Prize.
To see the photos taken at the ceremony, click the image below.