Leïla Bahsaïn, Beyrouk, and Samir Kacimi are finalists at the Prix de la Littérature Arabe 2021 announced on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

The Prix de la Littérature Arabe, created in 2013 by the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation and the Institut Du Monde Arabe, is awarded to a writer, a national of a member country of the Arab League and author of a published book – novel, collection of short stories or poems – written in French or translated from Arabic into French. It is the only French award distinguishing Arab literary creation with the winner endowed 10,000 euros.

Previous winners have been Jabbour Douaihy (2013), Mohammed al-Fakharany (2014), Mohammed Hasan Alwan (2015), Inaam Kachachi (2016), Sinan Antoon (2017), Omar Robert Hamilton (2018), and Mohammed Abdelnabi (2019), and Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin (2020).

Chaired by Pierre Leroy (Deputy CEO of Lagardère SA and Chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre), the jury is made up of eminent personalities from the arts and culture and specialists from the Arab world. They include Nada Al Hassan, specialist in cultural heritage; Mahi Binebine, painter and writer; Mustapha Bouhayati, director of the Luma Foundation in Arles; Gilles Gauthier, former French Ambassador to Yemen, translator of Alaa El Aswany books; Kaoutar Harchi, writer; Pauline Hauwel, Deputy Secretary General of the Lagardère group and chief of staff of Hachette Livre; Houda Ibrahim, author and journalist at Radio France Internationale (RFI); Alexandre Najjar, writer and head of L’Orient littéraire and Nathalie Sfeir, department manager at the IMA bookstore-boutique.

The judging panel has announced the finalists for this year’s award and there are three writers from Africa in the running in;

  • La théorie des aubergines (The Theory of Aubergines) by Leïla Bahsaïn, ed. Albin Michel.
  • Le Silence des horizons (The Silence of Horizons) by Beyrouk, ed. Elyzad
  • Un jour idéal pour mourir (A Perfect Day to Die), by Samir Kacimi, translated from Arabic by Lofti Nia, ed. Actes Sud

The winners for the award will be announced in the fall.