Mautirius born Nathacha Appanah and Algerian born Leila Slimani are on France’s top literary prize the Prix Goncourt 2016 shortlist.
The Prix Goncourt is a prize in French literature, given by the académie Goncourt to the author of “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year”. Four other prizes are also awarded: prix Goncourt du Premier Roman (first novel), prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle (short story),prix Goncourt de la Poésie (poetry) and prix Goncourt de la Biographie (biography). The Prix Goncourt is the best known and most prestigious with previous winners including Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time), Simone de Beauvoir (The Mandarins), André Malraux (Man’s Fate) and Marguerite Duras (The Lover).
Leila Slimani was the first woman to win the Prix La Mamounia the most prestigious prize in Moroccan writing for her novel “In the Garden of the Ogre” a novel about female sexual addiction. The novel in the running for France’s most prestigious literary gong is Chanson Douce (Soft Song) which was published by Gallimard.
Also in the running is Mauritius born Natacha Appanah who spent most of her teenage years in Mauritius and also worked as a journalist/columnist at Le Mauricien and Week-End Scope before emigrating to France. She is also a prize winner having won the Prix du Livre RFO in 2003. This was a prize awarded annually from 1995 to 2011 1 for a French book of fiction that link with the French overseas territories or the surrounding geographical and geopolitical areas. Her book in the running in the Prix Goncourt is the Tropique de la Violence (Tropic of Violence) also published by Gallimard France’s most well known publisher.
The winner of the prize will be announced at a ceremony in France in November.