Michel Tournier was a French writer, editor and broadcaster.
Tournier’s inspirations included traditional German culture, Catholicism and the philosophies of Gaston Bachelard. He joined Radio France as a journalist and translator and hosted L’heure de la culture française. In 1954 he worked in advertisement for Europe 1 and he also collaborated for Le Monde and Le Figaro. From 1958 to 1968, Tournier was the chief editor of Plon. In 1967 he published his first book, Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique (Friday, or, The other Island), a retelling of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, for which he was awarded the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française. He also won the Prix Goncourt for The Erl-King in 1970, a year when he also co-founded, with the Arles photographer Lucien Clergue and the historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette, the Rencontres d’Arles. Tournier produced, for television, some fifty issues of the monthly programme Chambre Noire, devoted to the art of photography. Born in Paris, he lived in Choisel and was a member of the Académie Goncourt. His autobiography has been translated and published as The Wind Spirit (Beacon Press, 1988).
Michel Tournier was shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize in 2007.