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Novel on Nazis' business backers wins top French prize

PARIS — France's top literary prize has been awarded to a novel that portrays the Nazis as the product of big business interests — including businesses that remain major industrial players today.

Eric Vuillard's "L'Ordre du Jour," or "The Agenda," was awarded the Goncourt Prize on Monday in a Paris cafe, part of a long-running tradition.

The choice prompted criticism from some quarters because the book's publisher, Actes Sud, was co-founded by French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen.

The publisher describes the book as an investigation of the backstage of the Nazi phenomenon that asks "what if the foundation for the first (Nazi) exploits was found in wheeling and dealing, in vulgar combinations of interests?"

Last year's winner of the Goncourt, Leila Slimani, is expected to be named to the French government later Monday.

The Associated Press

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