Amine Al Ghozzi’s Zindali: The Night of 14 January 2011 was announced to be a laureate of the European Union Prize for Literature 2021 on May 18, 2021.
The European Union Prize for Literature recognises emerging fiction writers from the European Union and beyond. Engaging the 41 countries participating in the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Prize celebrates 41 outstanding new literary talents across a cycle of three years. Spotlighting the creativity and the immense and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, it aims to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.
The 2021 edition awarded thirteen laureates from the countries participating in this cycle including Tunisia. The country’s four-member jury chaired by Raja Ben Slama, professor at the University of Manouba, psychoanalyst, director-general of the National Library of Tunisia included; Kamel Gaha, professor emeritus of French literature, member of the Beit-al-Hikma Academy; Jalel El-Gharbi, professor of literature at the University of La Manouba; and Adam Fethi, writer, President of PEN Tunisia.
In April, three Tunisians were revealed to be shortlisted for the country’s award in Béchir Garbouj, Saber Mansouri, and Amine Al Ghozzi. From these Al Ghozzi’s Zindali: The Night of 14 January 2011 (Editions Zayneb) was announced to be the winner.
Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth congratulated the winning laureates. Commissioner Gabriel said: “The EU Prize for Literature celebrates and promotes the incredible creativity and diversity that can be found in Europe’s contemporary literature scene. The immense value of literature is more apparent now than ever before. Having lived under the shadow of Covid for more than a year, books have become “essential”. Congratulations to the laureates!”
The Tunisian jury commended the author for his novel, which it said describes “with much humanity and poetry various scenes that took place on the streets of Sousse on the eve of 14 January 2011”.
Responding to his win Amine Al Ghozzi Tweeted, “Glad to represent #laTunisie in the winners #EUPL2021. Thank [email protected]_creative and Europe creative Tunisia for this great initiative.