By ADRIAN TAHOURDIN
The writer Andreï Makine (above) has just been elected to the Académie française. Born in the former Soviet Union in 1957, where his grandmother instilled in him a love of the French language, Makine travelled to France in 1987 on a teacher’s exchange programme and decided to stay. He was subsequently granted political asylum in the country.
A mere eight years after settling in France, Makine won the Prix Goncourt with his lyrical fourth novel Le Testament français – a book that was firmly rooted in the author’s Siberian childhood and adolescence. A prolific author, he has published some ten novels since (all of them translated into English by Geoffrey Strachan).