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Senegalese writer Mohamed Mbougar Sarr wins the Prix Goncourt

04 novembro 2021 Cultura
Vista 847 vezes

The Prix Goncourt 2021 went to Mohamed Mbougar Sarr for his latest novel, La Plus secrète mémoire des hommes. The 31 years old Senegalese writer completed part of his studies in France. Campus France Agency is particularly proud of the award of such a prestigious literature prize to an alumni.

Created in 1903, the Prix Goncourt is the most prestigious French literature prize.  Every year, it recompenses writers writing in French. Awarded on Wednesday 3 November, in the first round of voting with six votes, the Prix Goncourt 2021 crowns Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, the first Senegalese winner and the first winner born in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Not his first try


Mbougar Sarr was born in Diourbel, central Senegal. Son of a doctor, he completed his secondary education at the Prytanée militaire in Saint-Louis before moving to France to attend a preparatory class in literature (Hypokhâgne and Khâgne study courses) at the Lycée Pierre-d’Ailly in Compiègne and then to the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS).

La Plus secrète mémoire des hommes (“The most secret memory of Men”, untranslated) is his fourth novel. Mohamed Mbougar Sarr has previously published three other books that have already made him a noted author. He received several prizes, such as the Grand Prix du roman métis in Saint-Denis-de-la-Réunion and the Prix littérature monde du festival Étonnants Voyageurs in Saint-Malo.




Stunning novel


According to his publisher (Philippe Rey, copublished with Jimsaan), this novel has “a constant inventiveness”, and is “a stunning novel, marked by the need of choosing between writing and life, or even by the desire to exceed the issue of Africa and the Western world facing other. More than anything, it is a cry for the love of literature and its timeless power”.

More specifically, the novel tells the story of Diégane Latyr Faye, a young Senegalese writer living in Paris, and shaken by the discovery of a book published in 1938, who decides to investigate on the novel and its writer. A “quest that will take him on the footsteps of its writer in Senegal, Argentina, Amsterdam and Paris”.

The Prix Goncourt awarded to Mohamed Mbougar Sarr for his novel is a source of pride for the France Alumni network and Campus France Agency.


To know more 

About Mohamed Mbougar Sarr

About the novel La plus secrète mémoire des hommes


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