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Literary awards 2014

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Major literary awards 2014

This year, several prizes have been awarded to French-speaking writers with a foot in two cultures. Rewarding stories based on real facts is another major trend in the literary awards.

In the age of globalization, stories come from all horizons

Through the prizes awarded in fall, modern French literature reaffirms its openness on the world, and feeds on other cultures.

The prize list puts the emphasis on the francophonie (French-speaking communities): the Jean-Giono award has been awarded to Fouad Laroui for Les Tribulations du dernier Sijilmassi (The trials of the last Sijilmassi). Yanick Lahens, major Haitian political and literary figure, has been awarded the Femina Award. Her family saga Bain de lune (Moonbath) is staged in a rural Haitian world, with political turmoil as a background.

By rewarding Terminus radieux (A glorious terminal), the jury of the Médicis Award have decided to acknowledge a demanding work, paved with political questionings. The author, former Russian professor Antoine Volodine, describes a Siberia devastated by nuclear explosions and barbarians.

Characters conceived in history

The rewarding of fictions based on real fact is also noteworthy.

Adrian Bosc has been awarded the Prix de l’Académie française (French Academy Award) for this first novel Constellation. He relates minute by minute the crash of the Air France airplane on October 27th, 1949. Boxer Marcel Cerdan and violinist Ginette Neveu were among the passengers. But Adrian Bosc wrote this emotionally moving sepulture for all the victims.
With Pas pleurer (Cry not), Lydie Salvayre relates the fate of an unknown person too, her own mother, with famous writer Georges Bernanos. Their voices join to tell the start of the Spanish civil war in 1936. Her work has been rewarded with the most coveted award, the Goncourt award.

The Renaudot Award goes to Charlotte, by David Foenkinos. The writer relates the tragic fate of Charlotte Salomon, a German artist murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.