Emmanuel Carrère was born in Paris in 1957, studied at the famous Grande École »Sciences Po« (Institut d’études politiques), and initially worked as a film critic.
In 1995 he published the novel »La classe de neige« (Eng. »The Snow Class«, 1996), about an outsider, Nicolas, who is sent on a skiing trip with his class. The introverted child, at the mercy of his insufferably controlling and strict father, seeks refuge in daydreams filled with violence. When a child is brutally murdered in the neighboring village, he persuades himself that his father is somehow involved. Claude Miller made Carrère’s captivating and haunting tale about the inner life of a sensitive child into a film in 1998. »L’Adversaire« (2000; Eng. »The Adversary«, 2001) also examines the depths of the human soul, and is based on a real incident that occurred in the early 1990s in a small French village near the Swiss border. Jean-Claude Romand seems to be leading a regular life; he’s a family man, and a physician with World Health Organization. In fact, he’s been lying to everybody for more than 17 years, because he never actually qualified as a doctor. His double life ends tragically, when he kills his wife, his parents and his children. He tries to kill himself as well – fails to do so – and is sentenced to life imprisonment. In order to write »L’Adversaire«, Emmanuel Carrère painstakingly researched all the facts: he attended the trial, spoke with friends and relatives, and even communicated with Romand directly. The result is an impersonal account of events, devoid of any judgment, leaving it to the reader to form an opinion. In »Un roman russe« (2007; Eng. »A Russian Novel«, 2010), based on the documentary film »Retour à Kotelnitch«, which Carrère showed at the Venice Film Festival in 2003, the author retraces his own family history. He examines the long-unspoken story of his Georgian grandfather – a German collaborator – who was kidnapped in France as soon as the Second World War was over, never to be heard of again. In his recent novel »Limonov« (2011; Eng. 2014), which won the Prix Renaudot, Carrère describes the adventurous life of Edward Limonov, a former Ukrainian grifter, who – after a few detours – became a famous writer and politician. The biography of this rather colorful individual teaches us a rather valuable lesson in recent world history. Carrère’s latest novel »Le Royaume« (2014; Eng. »The Kingdom«, 2017), a fictional account of early Christianity and its foundation, is an intelligent meditation on religion, belief and moral values. The author retells the story of the early Church by placing himself in the shoes of two central figures, Saint Paul and Saint Luke.
In 2014, Carrère was awarded the Prix Litteraire by the French daily newspaper »Le Monde«. Emmanuel Carrère is also a screenwriter for television and film, and a director. He lives in Paris.