Priya Hein’s Riambel was declared the winner of Prix Jean Fanchette 2021 on Monday, October 25, 2021.
The Jean Fanchette Prize was created by the municipality of Beau-Bassin Rose-Hill (Mauritius), in honour of poet, psychoanalyst and publisher Jean Fanchette who was from Mauritius in 1992. Fanchette, who died in 1992, wrote books like Osmoses (1954), Les Midis du sang (1955), Archipels (1958), Identité provisoire (1965), Je m’appelle sommeil (1977), La Visitation de l’oiseau pluvier (1980), and Mémoire de la saxifrage (1956-1991).
The prize is open to French-speaking writers from Mauritius, Rodrigues, Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles. The prize money for the award is Rs. 100,000 (approximately 2,500 euros). Some of the previous winners of this award have been Ashvin Dwarka, Eileen Lohka, Aqiil Gopee, Philip Lim, and Edmond Maurel.
The jury for this prize was chaired by Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Jean Marie Le Clézio alongside Issa Asgarally, JMG Le Clezio and Davina Ittoo. The Jury chose the text Riambel by Priya Hein at this year’s winner. This choice was motivated by the originality of the text, which boldly tackles the difficult relationship between ethnic groups in Mauritius, the social rupture between the owners and their servants, and also the condition of women. All the art of this novel is in the feeling of modesty mixed with indignation, and in the practice of the unsaid, embellished with humor.
After the ceremony, Priya Hein tweeted, “Very grateful to receive this literary prize by J.M.G Le Clézio, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature.”