The celebration of the twenty-third annual Golden Comar Prize — Tunisia’s top literary award — was held last Saturday at the Théâtre Municipal de Tunis:
Ali Znaidi, of Tunisian Literature (in English), writes that the award was founded by Rachid Ben Jemia in 1997 “to support literary creation, and encourage Tunisian writers, especially novelists.”
The main Arabic prize went to Tarek Chibani for his novel للا السيدة (Lady Essayida).
The main French prize was awarded jointly to Mohamed Bouamoud for La princesse de Bizerte (The Princess of Bizerte) and Rafik Darragi’s Jugurtha Un contre-portrait (Jugurtha, a Counter-portrait).
The other two Arabic prizes:
The Special Jury Prize went to Abdelkader Alimi for his novel سكاكين عمياء (Blind Knives).
The Discovery Prize was awarded to Chaouki Barnousi for مأزق تشايكوفسكي (Tchaikovsky’s Predicament).
As to the other two French Prizes, the Discovery Prize went to Alyssa Belghith for L’amant de la mer (The Sea’s Lover), while the Special Jury Special Prize was not awarded this year.
Last year’s main Arabic prize went to Khairia Boubtane’s ابنة الجحيم (The Daughter of Hell), while the main French prize went to Ali Bécheur for Les Lendemains d’hier (The Tomorrows of Yesterday). The Daughter of Hell is reportedly a philosophical novel that focuses on the relationship between death and life, while The Tomorrows of Yesterday centers around a father-son relationship. The 2017 main Arabic prize was awarded jointly to Emna Rmili for her novel (Toujane) Toujane and Nabiha Aïssa for her novel (Maraya Al-Ghieb) Mirrors of Absence.