Fann Attiki’s Cave 72 was announced the winner of Prix Voix d’Afriques 2021 on Friday, September 3, 2021.
Prix Voix d’Afriques is a literary award aimed at bringing young French-language authors and authors from the African continent first hosted in 2020. It is aimed at highlighting new African literary voices, novels reflecting the situation of a country, political, economic or social news or more intimate texts. The first winner of the initiative from publisher Editions JC Lattès and RFI, in partnership with the Cité internationale des arts was Yaya Diomandé for his book Abobo Marley.
The 2021 edition of the award chaired by author Abdourahman Waberi featured Catherine Fruchon-Toussaint, journaliste RFI; Bénédicte Alliot, directrice de la Cité Internationale des arts; Véronique Cardi, présidente des éditions JC Lattès; Anne-Sophie Stefanini, directrice littéraire des éditions JC Lattès; Josué Guébo, poète et professeur à l’université en Côte d’Ivoire; Réassi Ouabonzi, de Chez Gangoueus et des Chroniques littéraires africaines; Grégoire Leménager, directeur adjoint de la rédaction de L’Obs; Béata Umubyeyi Mairesse, poète, nouvelliste, romancière, auteure de Tous tes enfants dispersés (Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie, 2020); Stéphanie Hanet, de la Librairie Coiffard à Nantes; and Bios Diallo, écrivain, journaliste et directeur d’un festival en Mauritanie.
French-speaking Africa answered the call for entries for anyone under the age of 30 to submit with 350 sending in their texts. From these, the following five finalists were announced on May 7;
- Cave 69 chez Orgi, Fann Attiki Mampouya (Congo)
- Boniche , Ahepka Yves Moïse N’GUESSAN (Côte d’Ivoire)
- Omalicha: mémoires d’une repat’, Cécilia Emma Wilson (Togo)
- Sur la pointe des pieds, Malek Lakhal (Tunisie)
- Talisman, Mamadou Lamine Dame Diop (Sénégal)
The 2021 laureate was revealed to be g 29-year-old author Fann Attiki for his first novel entitled “Cave 72“, a fiction which takes place in Congo, the home country of the winner. Listen to the winner give remarks in French by clicking here.
Here is a blurb on the winning book from JC Lattès editions
“Three young friends, Verdass, Ferdinand and Didi, meet up every day at Cave 72, a bar, an ideal refuge where they forget their daily life where everything seems governed by the absurd: red tape, political decisions, laws, the reasons for wars, love and divorce, men’s apparent passivity in the face of dictatorship… They discuss, drink, recite poems and go home without harming anyone. They are innocent of everything. It is for this reason that a man, secretary of the National Security Council, will make them the designated culprits of a plot against the State and the President, providential guide of the nation. They become heroes in spite of themselves, forced to defend themselves, to oppose the injustice of their condemnation, the heroes of their own life out of routine and boredom, the heroes of a people who have become accustomed to tolerating oppression and who suddenly rises, braves the army, demanding the liberation of the three s young people and the reopening of Cave 72, which has become the emblem of the resistance. ”
The winner of the of the competition gets publication by JC Lattès, published in their home country as well as a Residency at the Cité Internationale desArts in Paris, France.
Learn more about then winning novel from our friend Gangeous, who was one of the prize judges, by clicking here.