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French culture minister 'has no time to read'

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French culture minister 'has no time to read'
This French minister hasn't read a book in two years. Photo: AFP
18:12 CET+01:00
France's culture minister sparked controversy this week when she admitted she'd never read a single book by the French author who just won the Nobel Prize for literature. In fact, she says she hasn't read a book in two years.

An admission by France's culture minister, Fleur Pellerin, that she had not read a single novel over the past two years sent the country's Tweetosphere into overdrive Monday.

The guest of a television show on Sunday, Pellerin was unable to answer when asked which book by France's new Nobel Literature Prize winner Patrick Modiano was her favourite, just minutes after having said she had lunched with the author.

"I admit without any problem that I have had no time to read over the past two years," she went on to say, referring to her time in government first as minister for innovation and the digital economy, and now as culture minister.

"I read a lot of notes, I read a lot of legislative documents, I read a lot of news, AFP stories... But I read very little."

The news sent Twitter ablaze, with many shocked by the fact that a culture minister had not read books for two years and did not know any of Modiano's books.

"Long live our brilliant government and especially culture," said one Twitter user with the handle @MathieuLecerf.

But others leapt to her defence or ridiculed the controversy.   

"The worst thing is that if Fleur Pellerin had said she spent her evenings reading, many would have blamed her for not working enough," said @intwittoveritas.

"France is finally facing up to its main problem in this period of deep crisis: Fleur Pellerin has not read Modiano," joked @HenriRouquier.

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