Canadian, American writers win French literary prizes

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Haitian-born Canadian writer Dany Laferriere and American novelist Dave Eggers on Wednesday were awarded France's Medicis literary prize celebrating original writing.

Laferriere won the Medicis for "L'enigme du retour" (The Enigma of Return), a fictionalised account of the 56-year-old author's soul-wrenching return to his native Haiti to attend his father's funeral.

Born in Port-au-Prince but now living in Montreal and Miami, Laferriere has explored the themes of identity and exile in some 20 novels over the past 25 years.

His first work "Comment faire l'amour avec un negre sans se fatiguer", (How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired" in 1985 was a hit, translated in several languages and turned into a movie in 1989.

The jury unanimously chose Eggers as this year's recipient of the prize for best foreign novel for his 2006 work "What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng", based on the life story of a Sudanese refugee.

The book traces Achak Deng's quiet life in south Sudan before that country's civil war, his 13 years of nightmare spent in Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps and finally his resettlement in the United States.

Boston-born Eggers, 39, has written for the online magazine Salon.com and is the author of more than a dozen novels, works of nonfiction and humorous books.

The Medicis prize capped France's literary awards week.

On Monday, 42-year-old writer Marie NDiaye won the Goncourt prize, France's most prestigious literary award, for "Trois Femmes Puissantes" (Three Powerful Women).

Comments