Charif Majdalani Wins Prix Femina for ‘Beirut 2020: Chronicle of a Collapse’

Lebanese author Charif Majdalani has won a 2020 Prix Femina “special jury prize” for his Beyrouth 2020: Journal d’un effondrement:

Other winners of this year’s Prix Femina were Serge Joncour (for Nature humaine), Deborah Levy (for translations of her Cost of Living and Things I Don’t Want to Know), and Christophe Granger (for Joseph Kabris ou les possibilités d’une vie).

Majdalani’s literary agency, on the book:

At the beginning of summer 2020 in Lebanon – a country ruined by an economic crisis and inflation where people in Beirut stand up for a true democracy while the world is petrified by the coronavirus crisis –, Charif Majdalani undertakes the writing of a journal.

He wishes to give an account of this terrible and confusing period and confront it with his experience, thoughts, and emotions – and perhaps endure it through writing. This chronicle of suffocation and collapse is struck on August 4th by the explosion in the city’s port of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate. From this moment on, the book becomes a testimony of the catastrophe and the uprising, the portrait of a city stunned by the violence of its own history, the account of “fates thrown to the winds”.

Majdalani’s works have been selected by a number of prize juries, in French and in English. However, his charming Moving the Palace, charmingly translated by Edward Gauvin, is his only full-length book translated to English.

However, according to his agency, World English rights have been sold to Other Press.