NOVEMBER 26, 2021 — Organizers today announced the winner of the 2021 Prix de La Littérature Arabe, a French prize that celebrates literature by Arab authors written in French or literature translated from Arabic to French.
It went to Les corps célestes (Celestial Bodies) by Omani author Jokha Alharthi, translated from Arabic by Khaled Osman and published by ed. Stéphane Marsan.
This year’s jury, chaired by Pierre Leroy, praised “a captivating and poetic novel that allows to discover an Omani society in the process of a full transformation, as well as the living conditions and aspirations of its people. Although grounded in Omani reality, this book speaks for all humanity and addresses the universal. “
The jury also remarked on “the remarkable literary quality of Khaled Osman’s translation, which masterfully manages to convey the spirit of the work.”
The 2021 shortlist was made up of eight acclaimed novels, including Monsieur N. (Mr. Nuun), by Najwa Barakat, translated from Arabic by Philippe Vigreu; Un jour idéal pour mourir (A Perfect Day to Die), by Algerian author Samir Kacimi, translated from Arabic by Lofti Nia; Le cas critique du dénommé K (The Critical Case of the Man Called K), by Saudi author Aziz Mohammed, translated from Arabic by Simon Corthay; and Un détail mineur (Minor Detail), by Palestinian author Adania Shibli, translated from Arabic by Stéphanie Dujols.
The prize, created in 2013 by the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation and the Arab World Institute, is now in its ninth year. Last year’s prize went to Sudanese writer Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin for Les Jango (The Jungo: Stakes of the Earth) translated by Xavier Luffin. This marks the third year in a row the prize has gone to a translation.
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