Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Meryem Alaoui are the two African writers on the Prix Femina 2018 longlist.
The Prix Femina was created in 1904, and each year is decided by an all-woman jury. Fourteen translated books made this year’s longlist and two Africa writers make the cut, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and Meryem Alaoui.
La saison des fleurs de flame is the French translation of the highly acclaimed novel Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. Translated from English by Marc Amfreville and published by l’Observatoire, the book set largely in the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria, depicts an unusual salacious affair between the 55-year old widow Hajiya Binta and the 26-year old drug dealer and local gang leader Reza. The book earned the writer the Nigerian Prize for Literature in 2016.
With La Vérité sort de la Bouche du cheval Meryem Alaoui in her debut offers readers a colourful painting of daily life in a popular Morocco where everyone faces difficulties through vitality. The Google translated blurb of the Gallimard published book is described thus;
Jmiaa, prostitute of Casablanca, lives alone with her daughter. A woman of strong character and quick wit, she does not have the language in her pocket to describe the world around her: her lover Chaïba, a thick, wordless brute, or Halima, a depressed fellow prostitute who reads the Qur’an between two customers, or Mouy, her mother with implacable morality who seems to ignore everything about the activity of his daughter. But here comes a young woman, Chadlia, called “Mouth of Horse”, who wants to make her first film about the life of this neighborhood of Casa.
The Prix Femina will be awarded on November 5. You can read more about this year’s prize and other longlistees from our friends at Arablit.org.