About

@Jan Zappner

My name is Prune, and I am a (very) independent reporter and a novelist. Born in France in 1981, I graduated with a Master in International Law. I have lived in the U.K., Spain, Budapest, Brussels, Paris, and Nicosia before settling in Berlin in 2008.

I write about women, the post-soviet world and Europe. I have worked for Le Nouvel Observateur, Médiapart, Reportagen, Die Zeit, Geo, Vice, The Guardian, Arte or France Télévisions. My pieces have been awarded or nominated for the European Press Prize, the True Story Award, the Franco-German Journalism Prize, the Prix Louise Weiss, and the Prix Philippe Chaffanjon.

Among many others, I have investigated the remilitarisation of Kaliningrad and the rhetoric of New Cold War in Europe, the organ trafficking scandals in Kosovo and the failures of international justice, the impunity of mass rapes during the war in Bosnia or the environmental damages of conflicts, such as the tons of chemical and conventional weapons dumped in the Baltic Sea after 1945 and WW2.

My debut non-fiction book, « La Fille & Le Moudjahidine » (Carnets Nord, Paris, 2015), chronicles my friendship with a Dagestani MMA fighter, a refugee in Germany who flirts with jihad in Syria, while Europe tilts in fear of islamic terrorism. My second book, a novel, « L’Heure d’été » (Anne Carrière, Paris, 2019; paperback reedition by Points, 2020) looks into the hopes and disillusions of a couple of Millenials in Berlin, struggling with precarity, gentrification and free love – in a Europe on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The book was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt of the First novel.

More recently, I explored Germany’s tolerance of the far-right and spent months immersed in a radical neo-nazi group called Der Dritte Weg. My latest story about the Christiane K. criminal case, an in-depth investigation into gender bias in the penal justice system and ambivalences of motherhood, will be soon published by Denoël in France and Hanser Berlin in Germany.

In 2023, I was a Milena Jesenská Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna to study the rise of reproductive psychiatry. I am currently a journalist in residence at the Max Planck Institute for International Law, researching sexual violences in times of war.

I am represented by Laurence Laluyaux at RCW Literary Agency, London.

Website: Johan Giraud 😇