Edem Awumey, Yahia Belaskri, Driss Jaydane, Osvalde Lewat, and Tierno Monenembo are finalists of Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie 2022. The announcement was made on September 22, 2022.
Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie (English: Five Continents Prize of the Francophonie) was established by the International Organization of the Francophonie in 2001. It is aimed at highlighting literary talents reflecting the expression of cultural and editorial diversity in the French language on five continents and promoting them on the international scene. Some previous winners have been Alain Mabanckou, Wilfried N’Sondé, Yamen Manaï, Fawzia Zouari, and Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse.
The representatives of the Prix des Cinq Continents Prize Reading Committees selected 10 finalist works representing 8 countries, from among 188 candidate works proposed. The committees are The Passa Porta Association (Wallonia-Brussels Federation), the Writers’ Association of Senegal (Senegal), the Young French Writer’s Prize Association (France), the Literary Camp Félix Association (Canada), the Elongo Culture Association (Congo) and the Vietnam Committee (Vietnam).
The committees felt that the selection was distinguished by “the presence of nomadic, determined, endearing characters, in search of better worlds. Beyond the diversity and harshness of eras and territories, it bears witness to a human adventure in constant resonance with languages, otherness, and history”.
The following writers of African descent were on the finalists’ list;
- Noces de coton, Edem Awumey (Togo-Canada-Québec), Ed. du Boréal (Canada-Québec)
- Le Silence des dieux, Yahia Belaskri (Algérie-France), Ed. Zulma (France)
- Moïse de Casa, Driss Jaydane (Maroc), Ed. Les Avrils (France)
- Les Aquatiques, Osvalde Lewat (France-Cameroon), Ed. Les Escales (France)
- Saharienne Indigo, Tierno Monenembo (Guinea Conakry), Ed. du Seuil (France)
The jury this year comprises fifteen writers representing the plurality of imaginations of the Francophonie. They are Lise Bissonnette (Canada-Quebec), Paula Jacques, Vénus Khoury-Ghata (Lebanon), Liliana Lazar (Romania), Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (Mauritius), Wilfried N’Sonde (Congo-France), Lyonel Trouillot (Haiti), Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti), Jun Xu (China), Karim Kattan (Palestine) and Miguel Bonnefoy (France-Venezuela). The new members are Mohammed Aïssaoui (France-Algeria), Marilou Rytz (Switzerland), Maryline Noël (France-Chile) and Marijosé Alie (France-Martinique).
The jury selects a winner from the finalists in January then awarded in March 2023 as part of International Day of La Francophonie. They will be endowed with 15,000 euros while 5,000 euros goes to the special mention of the jury.