Diadié Dembélé wins Prix littéraire de la vocation 2022

Diadié Dembélé’s Le Duel Des Grands-Mères was declared the winner of Prix de la Vocation 2022 on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

The Prix Littéraire de la Vocation (English: Literary Vocation Award) was established by the Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet Foundation to support a young writer working aged 18 to 30 years in 1976. Some of the previous winners have been Kaouther Adimi and Salim Bachi.

This year, the jury was made up of Kaouther Adimi, Jean-Luc Barré, Anne de la Baume, Alain Germain, Pierre Ducrozet, Christophe Ono-dit-Biot, Erik Orsenna, Philippe Taquet, Émilie de Turckheim, and the bloggers: @ squirelito (Le domaine de Squirelito), @ferrandosylvie (La Cause Littéraire), @nicolemotspourmots (Words for words) and @domi_c_lire (Domi C Read).

In August, the jury announced the finalists for the award which included Dadié Dembélé for JC Lattès published Le duel des grands-mères (English: The Duel of Grandmothers). The winner of the award was made public in the last week with Dadié Dembélé taking home the honours.

Here is a bit of information about the award-winning work;

Because he skips school to read, eat donuts and play marbles, because he answers insolently, because he speaks French better than the French in France and he begins to forget his mother tongue, Hamet, a young boy from Bamako, is sent away from the capital, to the village where his two grandmothers live. His parents hope that these few months will teach him obedience, respect for traditions, humility.

But Hamet by meeting his grandmothers, by drinking salt water from the well, by working in the fields, by bonding with the boys of the village, will discover much more than obedience: the history of his family, the secrets of his family, of whom he is the son and grandson. It’s a return to his roots that offers him the world, makes him grow faster. A moving first novel, carried by a language full of inventiveness and poetry.

The Malian goes home with the 10,000 euros endowment.