France honours novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya with Legion D’Honneur decoration

France honours novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya with Legion D'Honneur decoration

27 November 2014

Outspoken Russian novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya is to be awarded France’s Legion D’Honneur decoration in a ceremony at the French ambassador’s Moscow residence on Friday, TASS reported today. Ulitskaya, a vocal anti-Kremlin figure, will be formally named Officer of the Légion d’honneur, a title created by Napoleon Bonaparte at the start of the 19th century. The title is the highest decoration in France. Other recipients have included British writer J K Rowling and Vladimir Putin.

Known for her opposition to growing censorship in Russia and Moscow’s position on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Ulitskaya has been dubbed a traitor by pro-Kremlin activists who have publicly denounced the writer for her political opinions.

In February, Ulitskaya wrote an impassioned article on The Guardian criticising “the authorities’ attempts to impose on us a cultural ideology that in many respects, mimics the style of Soviet-era propaganda”.

Ulitskaya, nominated four times for the Russian Booker Prize, holds the record for the most nominations for the award and became the first Russian to win the Austrian State Prize for European Literature for her contributions to literature to date, receiving €25,000 at an award ceremony in Salzburg this July.