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Jean-Luc Coatalem president of the jury of the Golden Fleece of Adventure Book 2021

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8 July 2021
Books of the 2021 competition
27 July 2021
The travel writer Jean-Luc Coatalem will chair the jury of the Golden Fleece of Adventure Books on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Écrans de l'aventure, from 14 to 17 October in Dijon. Photo © Patrice Normand

Born in Finistère (France) into a family of officers, Jean-Luc Coatalem spent his childhood in Polynesia and his adolescence in Madagascar. These stays gave him a taste for other places. Editor, journalist for Grands Reportages and then, since 1999, for Géo where he is deputy editor-in-chief, he has travelled the globe on foot, on horseback, in a microlight aircraft and on an icebreaker, from China to Antarctica and from Brazil to Pakistan. He has visited nearly 80 countries.

"All journeys end in books and all of them starts with a reading."

This travel writer, for whom "all journeys end in books and all of them starts with a reading", has published travelogues such as Suite indochinoise (Indochinese Suite - edition: La Table Ronde, 1993) and Mission au Paraguay (Mission to Paraguay - edition: Grasset, 1996), as well as novels and short stories set in exotic settings. Alongside Nicolas Bouvier, he was one of the nine signatories of the Manifesto for a travelling literature, under the aegis of Michel Le Bris, in 1992.

He became known to the general public through his book, Je suis dans les mers du sud (I am in the South Seas), dedicated to the adventurous painter Paul Gauguin, and through La consolation des voyages (The consolation of travel), an ode to wandering and to geography (edition: Grasset 2001 and 2004).
His latest titles include Le gouverneur d'Antipodia (The Governor of Antipodia - edition: Le Dilettante, 2012), Nouilles froides à Pyongyang (Cold noodles in Pyongyang - edition: Grasset, 2013), a travelogue about North Korea, Mes pas vont ailleurs (My steps go somewhere else - edition: Stock, 2017), about the writer Victor Segalen, and La part du fils (The son's share - edition: Stock, 2019, finalist for the Renaudot and Goncourt awards).