Lebanese author Charif Majdalani was awarded the Jean Giono Prize for French Literature for his "Villa des Femmes" (Women’s Villa).

The novel is set in the 1960s, when a Lebanese businessman tells his darkest secrets to his cab driver, reflecting Lebanon’s fall into its civil war.

Majdalani, the 55-year-old professor and head of the Humanities Department at the Saint-Joseph University (USJ) in Lebanon, has previously published five novels.

He has previously won the Francois Mauriac prize from the French Academy in 2007 for his novel Caravanserai.

Other than winning the Jean Giono Prize, which was established in 1990, the novel is also shortlisted for the reputable Femina literary prize, whose results will be announced Nov. 4.