November 30, 2021

Pierre Assouline, born April 17, 1953 in Casablanca, is a French journalist, radio columnist, novelist, and biographer. Former head of the magazine Lire, member of the editorial board of the journal L'Histoire and member of the Goncourt academy since 2012, he has notably written the biographies of Marcel Dassault, Georges Simenon, Gaston Gallimard, Jean Jardin, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler , Albert Londres or Hergé ,. He is the author of several thousand articles and radio columns.


Son of Marcel Assouline, director of companies, and Monique Zerbib, Pierre Assouline spent his early childhood in Casablanca then moved to France and attended secondary studies at Cours Fidès and at Lycée Janson-de-Sailly in Paris. He studied at the University of Nanterre and at the School of Oriental Languages, then became a journalist. He first worked for agencies (Apei, Asa Press, Fotolib) before joining the Foreign Services of Le Quotidien de Paris (1976-1978) then France-Soir (1979-1983), while teaching at the Training Center and training for journalists (CFPJ) and by collaborating with the magazine L'Histoire (1979). From the 1980s, he moved closer to the literary world, becoming literary advisor to Éditions Balland (1984-1986) and writing several books on recent cultural history, starting with a biography of Gaston Gallimard (1984). He joined the magazine Lire in 1985 as editor and became editor in 1993. He also works on the radio, on France Inter (1986-1990), RTL (1990-1999), occasionally on France Culture, is a columnist for Le Monde 2, critic for Le Nouvel Observateur, and member of the editorial board of the monthly L ' Story. He is a lecturer at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, for the reading / writing course in the first year and at the school of journalism of this institute. He joined the Goncourt Academy on January 11, 2012 to sit there as a juror under the cover of Françoise Mallet-Joris. He is a member of the “cultural committee” of the Artcurial auction house, of the Cercle de Union interalliée. It is through its lobbying work with the advisers of the mayor of Paris that the rue Sébastien-Bottin takes the name of rue Gaston-Gallimard.


On October 24, 1996, Calixthe Beyala won the grand prix du roman de l'Académie française for his book Les Honneurs perdus, published in August 1996 by Albin Michel. In the literary review Lire, Pierre Assouline claims to have identified borrowings from Ben Okri's book, The Road to Hunger [ref. desired]. After a comparative text study, the editors of Ben Okri and Calixthe Beyala reject the accusation of Pierre Assouline by a joint press release [ref. desired]. Faced with the insistence of Pierre Assouline, Calixthe Beyala answers him in an ironic tone in Le Figaro, with a text entitled: "Me Calixthe Beyala the plagiarist!" "[Ref. necessary]. Many personalities of the French Academy [Who?] Stepped up to the plate, supporting the writer by judging that "it was an old work" and that "everyone has plagiarized", by Corneille in Stendhal. Pierre Assouline has published several articles criticizing the Wikipedia encyclopedia ,. In 2007, under his direction, students from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris engaged in vandalism on the encyclopedia in order to observe the time necessary for their correction, an action which was subsequently publicized ( see also The Wikipedia Revolution). In September 2008, the Paris Criminal Court condemned him for defamation against María Kodama (widow of the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges) for having affirmed without proof that his marriage was perhaps not "valid" and that the will of the writer had been the subject of "manipulations",.

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