The shortlist for Prix Kourouma 2020 was announced on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.
Ahmadou Kourouma was the Ivorian novelist who wrote 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. After he passed on in 2003, a new prize was set up in his honour called the Prix Ahmadou Kourouma (Ahmadou Kourouma Prize) by Salon Africaine in 2004. Awarded annually at the Geneva International Book Fair, it recognises 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), Wilfried N’Sondé (2018), and David Diop (2019).
The panel judges for the 2020 edition of the prize are led by Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne and President of the ADELF, the association of French-language Writers Jacques Chevrier who takes the role of President. He is joined by UNIL Professor Christine Le Quellec Cottier, literary critic Isabelle Rüf, and author and University of Basel professor Isabelle Chariatte.
The panel has announced those in the running for this year’s prize and they are;
- Ah Sissi, il faut souffrir pour être française!, Jo Güstin
- Boy Diola, Yancouba Diémé (Flammarion)
- Des ombres et leurs échos…, Jussy Kiyindou (Présence Africaine)
- Impossible de rester, Aminata Pagni (Présence Africaine)
- La vertical du cri, Gaston-Paul Effa (Gallimard, continents noirs)
- Les jours viennent et passent, Hemley Boum (Gallimard)
- Les Veilleurs de Sangomar, Fatou Diome (Albin Michel)
- Méchantes blessures, Abd Al Malik (Plon)
- Next Level, Thomté Ryam (Au Diable Vauvert)
- Perdus, Fantah Touré Pourquoi tu danses quand tu marches, Abdourahman A.Waberi (JC Lattès)
- Rouge impératrice, Léonora Miano (Grasset)
- Tant d’errances, Mambi Magassouba (Ecrire l’Afrique)
- Tous tes enfants dispersés, Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse (Autrement)
- Tchapalo Tang, Fidèle Goulyzia (Editions Captiot)
The winner of the award who gets a CHF 5,000 cash prize will be announced at the Ahmadou Kourouma Award ceremony at the Geneva Book Fair 2020 which runs from October 28 to November 1, 2020.