Tunisian Yamen Manaï wins the Arabic Literature Prize

Tunisian Yamen Manaï wins the Arabic Literature Prize

Tunisian Yamen Manaï wins the Arabic Literature Prize

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Tunisian Yamen Manaï won on Wednesday (November 23) the prize for Arabic literature in France for “Bel abîme”, a novel about violence in the most underprivileged circles of his country.

The prize, endowed with 10,000 euros, was created in 2013 by the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation, French industrialist and press officer (1928-2003) and the Arab World Institute (IMA) chaired by Jack Lang, former French Minister of Culture.

Yamen Manaï, 42, an engineer by training, has lived in France since he was 18. His novel, published by a Tunisian publisher, Elyzad, tells the story of a 15-year-old boy imprisoned for killing his father. The jury praised a fascinating short novel written in a simple and forceful style at the same time, which denounces, through a rebellious teenager, the injustices of a cruel society in the Tunisia of the popular suburbs “. Yamen Manaï had already won the Orange Book Award in Africa with the same title.

► To listen also: Literature: “Bel abyss” by Yamen Manai, the passion of a teenager

I am very happy to have won the prize for Arabic literature, because the word “Arabic” is a word dear to my heart: it is my mother tongue, the one that introduced me to literature, the one that gave me the passion for literature, although today I practice it in French, so it is a pleasure to be associated with this heritage, entrusts Yamen Manai to ibrahim houda of the RFI Africa service. “Bel abîme”, is a novel, in fact, which is a reaction to the violence that, unfortunately, plagues Tunisian society more and more. The condition of the child is difficult to bear, violence is trivialized from an early age , so the ambition of the book, to deal with this theme of the insidious violence that plagues society and its impact from an early age on the construction of the individual of an adolescent, and is representative of this somewhat misguided youth, living in the indifference, and even worse, in violence, institutional violence, violence within the family, within the street. »


Promotion of Arabic literature

A Special Mention of the Arabic Literature Prize was awarded to Sudanese Hammour Ziada for The drowned women of the Nile. Edited by Actes Sud, this novel evokes a town on the banks of the river shaken in 1969 by the discovery of the corpse of an adolescent.

The Prize for Arabic Literature is one of the rare French prizes that distinguishes Arabic literary creation. Promotes the work of a writer from an Arab League country and author of a work written or translated into French. Promote and disseminate Arabic literature in France at the height of the literary season, such is the will of the founders of this award, which is also part of the work carried out by the IMA with its Literary Meetings.

(and with AFP)

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