David Diop

David Diop is Prix Ahmadou Kourouma 2019 winner.

David Diop is the winner of the Prix Ahmadou Kourouma 2019 for his book Frere D’ame (Brother of Soul).

Ahmadou Kourouma was an Ivorian novelist who was famous for writing novels like Allah N’est Pas (Allah is Not Obliged) in 2002, En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages (Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote) in 1998, and Les Soleils des indépendances (The Suns of Independence) in 1968.

The author passed on in 2003 and in the following year a new prize was set up by Salon Africaine in his honour called the Prix Ahmadou Kourouma (Ahmadou Kourouma Prize). The prize annually awarded by the International Book Fair and the press in Geneva rewards a fictional work or essay devoted to Black Africa. It has been won in the past by among others, Scholastique Mukasonga (2012), Tierno Monénembo (2013),  Mutt-Lon (2014),  Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (2015), Mbarek Ould Beyrouk (2016), Max Lobe (2017), and Wilfried N’Sondé (2018).

Following a call out that had a January 31 deadline, a longlist from the entries received by the team was selected which in full was;

  • Si loin de ma vie, Monique Ilboudo (Serpent à Plume).
  • Camarade Papa, Armand Patrick (Gauz) Gbaka Brédé (Nouvel Attila).
  • Je suis quelqu’un, Aminata Aidara (Gallimard / Continents noirs).
  • Les Cigognes sont immortelles, Alain Mabanckou (Seuil).
  • La Dynastie des Boiteux, Tome I : Zoonomia et Tome II : Citizen Narcisse, Bessora (Serpent à plumes).
  • Frère d’âme, David Diop (Seuil).
  • La Belle de Casa, Jean Bofane In Koli (Actes sud).
  • Empreinte de crabe, Patrice Nganang (JC Lattès).
  • Prisons, Ludovic-Hermann Wanda (Editions de l’Antilope).
  • Cacophonies des voix d’ici, Charles Gueboguo (Editions Le Lys bleu).
  • Il est déjà demain, Henri Lopes Edition Lattès.
  • Le Balcon de Dieu, Eugène Ébodé (Gallimard / Continents noirs).
  • La Route du non-retour, Constantin Writter (Les Editions Ecovie).
  • Le succès au goût d’échec, Saïdou Didier Lonfo (Les Editions Ecovie).
  • Carmen Fifonsi Aboki, Carmen Toudonou (D’Ebène Vénus Editions).
  • Tu n’épouseras pas ce chocolat, Djakaridja Konate( Nouvelles Editions Balafons).
  • A l’orée du trépas, Khalil Diallo (L’Harmattan Sénégal).
  • Le jour en tribut, Hélène Kaziendé (Djondo Publiwiz).
  • Le griot m’a raconté, Adame Ba Konare (Présence Africaine)

This list was assessed by a jury chaired by Professor Jacques Chevrier alongside Franco-Congolese writer Boniface Mongo-Mboussa, Chadian author Noël Ndjekery, Director of the International Center for Francophone Studies (CIEF) at Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV) Professor Romuald Fonkoua, Swiss journalist Catherine Morand, professor of literature at the University of Lausanne Christine Lequellec-Cottier, and literary critic Isabelle Rüf.

Frere D'ame by David DiopFrom this list, the prize was awarded to the novel Frere D’ame, a story that reveals the unknown history of the 200,000 African fighters sent on behalf of France to the front of the First World War where about 30,000 Senegalese riflemen left their lives in the trenches.

The award will be given at the Geneva Book Fair on May 3, 2019.

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