Nétonon Noël Ndjékéry

Nétonon Noël Ndjékéry’s Il n’y a pas d’arc-en-ciel au paradis was declared the winner of Prix Hors Concours 2022 in Paris, France on November 28, 2022.

Prix Hors Concours is a French literary prize rewarding exclusively French-speaking authors published by independent publishers whose turnover is less than one million euros but which is capable of distribution throughout France. Created by the Académie Hors Concours, the Hors Concours prize is awarded each year in November after two successive pre-selections, in June and October.  

For 2022, the jury comprised Stéphanie Khayat (journalist at Télématin on France 2), Inès de la Motte Saint-Pierre (journalist at La Grande Librairie on France 5), David Medioni (editor-in-chief of the webzine Ernest!), Ilana Moryoussef (literature manager in the culture department of France Inter) and Isabelle Motrot (editorial director of Causette).

Aa ceremony at the Maison de la Poésie in Paris on Monday, they declared Nétonon Noël Ndjékéry for Il n’y a pas d’arc-en-ciel au paradis (English: There is no rainbow in paradise) (Hélice Hélas, 2022) the winner.  Chad-born Nétonon Noël Ndjékéry is the author of the titles La descente aux enfers (1984, Hautier), Sang de kola (1999, L’Harmattan), Chroniques tchadiennes (2008, Infolio), Mosso (2011, Infolio), and Au petit bonheur la brousse (Hélice Hélas, 2021).

In Il n’y a pas d’arc-en-ciel au paradis (Hélice Hélas), Ndjékéry explores the theme of trans-Saharan slavery and retraces two hundred years of human exploitation in the region of Chad. At the same time, through the story of the escape of a young slave, he elaborates on the utopia of an Afropolitan society, united and open.  

Commenting on his win on social media Nétonon Noël Ndjékéry said, “Thank you to the Off Concours Academy and the Jury of the 2022 Hors Concours Award!”