Ms. Oates was chosen for her novel "The Falls" (Ecco/ HarperCollins). With Niagara Falls as its backdrop, it explores the American family and society in the mid-20th century. Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish author, won the Prix Medicis for his novel "Snow" (Alfred A. Knopf). Read by many as a critique of Islamist culture, it tells of the homecoming of a Turk who has lived for a decade in Frankfurt. The Medicis prize for best French work went to the Belgian author Jean-Philippe Toussaint for "Fuir" ("Escape"), a dreamlike novel set in Shanghai and Beijing and on Elba. The Femina for best French work went to Regis Jauffret for "Asiles de Fous" ("Mental Asylums"), about love and family relationships.