Violette d’Urso wins the 2nd edition of the Best Title Prize

Created by journalist Agnès Bouquet, the “Prix du Titre” (Best Title Prize) reflects the Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez’s commitment to promoting artists and, in particular, writers. The award is dedicated to exploring the relationship between a book title, its author and the reader. While the birth of a book title remains a profoundly mysterious process, the reaction it triggers in the reader is equally impenetrable. The second edition of the Best Title Prize rewarded the fascinating and unsettling young author of the novel “Même le bruit de la nuit a changé” (Even the sound of the night has changed), published by Flammarion.

A prize rewarding both the work’s title and overall harmony

The Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez Best Title Prize is the first literary prize that selects novels primarily on the basis of their title. Five books were picked to take part in the 2nd edition of the Best Title Prize:

  • Mes fragiles (My fragile ones) by Jérôme Garcin
  • Même le bruit de la nuit a changé (Even the sound of the night has changed) by Violette d’Urso
  • Son odeur après la pluie (His smell after the rain) by Cédric Sapin-Defour
  • Vivre nu (Living naked) by Margaux Cassan
  • Naufrage (Shipwreck) by Vincent Delecroix

The jury is tasked with rewarding a title that is powerful, mysterious and poetic alike; a title that gives little away about the book itself, while arousing curiosity. The overall unity of the work is also a major criterion. This year’s vote went unanimously to Violette d’Urso’s novel “Même le bruit de la nuit a changé” (Even the sound of the night has changed), published by Flammarion in March 2023: a work with an intriguing title that sparks the imagination. What does she mean by “the sound of the night”? Although instilled with emotion, humour and charm, the novel relates the drama of a father’s death and ensuing stupefaction of a 6 year-old child, narrated today through the eyes of an adult. It is a book that tackles the subject of grief while resolutely overflowing with life.

Violette d’Urso, a promising young author

This début novel by the daughter of Inès de la Fressange and Luigi d’Urso has all the makings of a very promising literary talent. Violette d’Urso’s discreet, juvenile elegance and style alternating innocence and lucidity cannot fail to captivate. Combining a real-life investigation with a fantasy world, the novel describes the author’s battle with the overwhelming grief of losing her father, an art dealer who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2006 when Violette d’Urso was just six years old. Deprived, as a result, of the chance to write his story, she turned instead to an imaginary world. Her book is indeed a novel, in which the alter ego she has forged bears her pain without resentment, creating a truth reinvented and escape from life’s harsh realities.

L'auteure Violette d'Urso dédicace son roman "Même le bruit de la nuit a changé"

A prestigious jury

Agnès Bouquet, president of the jury and creator of the Best Title Prize, hand-picked the members of the jury for this 2nd edition of the Best Title Prize. On the team: Fabrice Humbert, Alix Girod de l’Ain, Éric Garandeau, Charlotte Hellman, Richard Collasse, Julia Minkowski, Stéphanie des Horts, Cyrille Gouyette, Adèle Bréau, Denis Zott, Clotilde Leguil, Walid Ben Youssef and Blaise Renaud.

The prize was awarded to Violette d’Urso by none other than Simone Dray, the owner of the Hôtel de Paris Saint-Tropez, at a ceremony that took place last September 30th. Madame Dray’s commitment to artists and, especially, authors, is unfailing, with events such as the “Conversations with Agnès” literary meetings continuing to pace the hotel’s summer season every year.

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