[The JRB Daily] Finalists announced for the 2020 Prix Orange du Livre en Afrique—celebrating African writing in French, produced by African publishers

The six finalists for the 2020 Prix Orange du Livre en Afrique have been announced.

The prize aims to promote new literary talent in Africa and support local publishers, and is awarded to a work of fiction written in French by an African author and published by a publishing house based on the African continent.

For this second edition of the prize, thirty-eight novels were entered by twenty-eight publishing houses based in fourteen different countries.

From the Orange Foundation:

They have been read, reread, loved and nominated by each of the reading committees in Guinea, Tunisia, Mali, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire.

They represent the diversity and richness of African literature, from North Africa, with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, but also sub-Saharan Africa, with two works from Mali and Senegal.

They tackle very different themes, from the sociopolitical intrigue in Mali, to a true epic of the history of the book through the centuries, passing through a love story in the context of an epidemic in Senegal.

2020 Prix Orange du Livre en Afrique finalists

  • Abdellah Baïda, Testament d’un livre, Editions Marsam (Morocco)
  • Ndèye Fatou Fall Dieng, Ces moments-là, L’Harmattan Sénégal (Senegal)
  • Youssouf Amine Elalamy, C’est beau, la guerre, Editions Le Fennec (Morocco)
  • Mostefa Harkat, Le retour au Moyen Age, Editions AFAQ (Algeria)
  • Ahmed Mahfoudh, Les jalousies de la rue Andalouse, Editions Arabesques (Tunisia)
  • Paul-Marie Traore, Jeu de dames, Editions Tombouctou (Mali)

The overall winner will be announced on 4 June 2020 in Tunis. They will receive €10,000 (about R200,000) and have a campaign organised to promote their book.

The initial selection was made by six reading committees based in Tunisia, Senegal, Guinea, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. The groups met and deliberated in Paris to select the final six novels, and the decision was unanimous.

Chaired by Véronique Tadjo (Côte d’Ivoire), the final judging panel has ten members: Djaïli Amadou Amal (2019 winner, Cameroon), Yvan Amar (France), Kidi Bebey (France), Yahia Belaskri (Algeria), Eugène Ébodé (Cameroon), Valérie Marin La Meslée (France), Nicolas Michel (France), Gabriel Mwènè Okoundji (Congo) and Mariama Ndoye (Senegal).

Watch a video on the finalists (in French—English subtitles available):

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