Éric Faye

The important thing is to have a voice, a perspective so that it is possible to recognise a vision of the world when reading.

Journalist and writer Éric Faye has been writing novels, essays and short stories for almost 30 years. With finely-crafted and elegant writing, he pays particular attention to Asia by portraying, with a hint of fantasy, characters beset by everyday difficulties.

Updated on 17/01/2024

2 min

Born in 1963 in Limoges, Éric Faye trained at the Lille Higher School of Journalism and became a journalist and translator. Initially an essayist, he published his first new short story entitled “Le Général Solitude” (“General Solitude”) in the journal Le Serpent à Plumes in 1992. In 1995 he made this story the subject of his first novel, which appeared under the same title.

At the rate of one text per year, he steadily built up his career by switching between essays, news articles and stories, both fiction and travel. His work was quickly recognised by the literary community, which awarded him the Cino Del Duca Prize in 1996, the most valuable prize in the world after the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 2010 he won the Novel Grand Prix awarded by the Académie française for Nagasaki which was inspired by various events in Japan.

Since 2005, Éric Faye has devoted himself more and more to travel literature and has documented his trips in his work, reflecting in particular his passion for Asian culture.

In his fiction, Éric Faye fashions a style between fantasy, surrealism and mystery. His second novel, Parij, published in 1997, is an alternative history of a Soviet France and a capital divided in two by a wall, while Croisière en mer des pluies (Rainy Sea Crossing, 1999) is a futuristic work.

Defending himself from being a “genre writer”, the author mostly chooses simplicity to portray the absurdity of everyday life and the flight of time. A lifelong perfectionist, he reworks his books after they are published to offer new versions in reissues. Éric Faye therefore sees literature and text as a living and moving form.


A true globetrotter, Éric Faye wrote his first travel story, Mes trains de nuit (My Night Trains), in 2005, in which he recounted his trips to Europe and Asia between 1982 and 2005. Following a residency at Villa Kujoyama in 2012, he published Éclipses japonaises (Japanese Disappearances) where he discussed the disappearance of men and women under North Korean rule.

After Tibet, in 2016 and 2017, which led him to the publication of Sur les pas d'Alexandra David Néel (Following in the footsteps of Alexandra David Néel) with Christian Garcin, Éric Faye continued his exploration of the Chinese-speaking world: in 2020 he is working on a novel retracing 1,500 years of history, which primarily questions the future of Taiwan.

Éric Faye seduces beyond the borders of France: Mes trains de nuit was translated into Korean in 2007 and Nagasaki has been translated into some 20 languages. Éclipses japonaises will be published in Taiwan in 2020.

  • 1995


    Éric Faye publishes his first novel, Le Général Solitude, for which he was awarded the Cino Del Duca Prize the following year.

  • 1998


    His collection of fantasy short stories, Je suis le gardien du phare, wins the Deux Magots Prize.

  • 2005


    His first travel story, Mes trains de nuit, is published by Stock.

  • 2010


    He publishes Nagasaki, which wins the the Novel Grand Prix awarded by the Académie française.

  • 2018


    He co-writes with Christian Garcin Dans les pas d'Alexandra David Néel after two trips to Tibet.

  • 2024


    "Taipei sous la pluie de prunes", aux éditions Picquier.

The Institut français and the project

Winner of an Institut français Stendhal Residency, Éric Faye will be in Taïwan in 2020.


The Stendhal programme allows french authors or authors living in France to travel to a foreign country and work on a writing project related to that country. Learn more about the Stendhal programme



L'institut français, LAB