Pellerin under fire over reading admission

Pellerin under fire over reading admission

The French culture minister has sparked controversy after admitting she hasn't read for pleasure in the past two years.  

Fleur Pellerin, who has only been in the post two months, was interviewed on Sunday (26th October) on television about French novelist Patrick Modiano who recently won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

When asked by the Canal+ presenter which was her favourite of Modiano's books, Pellerin answered: “I admit without any problem that I have had no time to read over the past two years," she said. "I read a lot of notes, and legislative documents. I read a lot of news, but I read [for pleasure] very little."

Her confession has sparked a row on Twitter, with some commentators sympathetic of her situation and others calling for her resignation.

Journalist Claude Askolovitch called for the minister's resignation in Huffington Post France yesterday (27th).

Pellerin was born in South Korea but adopted by her French family when she was just six months old. She has recently taken over the culture minister post from Aurélie Filipetti. 

At the time, Matthieu de Montchalin, president of the French Booksellers Association (Syndicat de la Librairie Française, SLF), told The Bookseller: "She is brilliant, a good listener, very pragmatic and, with her (recent) ministerial experience, should be operational immediately. She will probably place digital at the forefront of her programme, which comes at a good time, because digital has not yet taken off in France (and it is important) for booksellers to participate in its development."