Let's celebrate! Maryse Condé wins the New Academy Prize in Literature

On October 12, the New Academy announced the winner of the Alternative Literature Prize

Let's celebrate! Maryse Condé wins the New Academy Prize in Literature

On Friday, October 12, the New Academy announced the winner of its Alternative Literature Award, which replaces the Nobel Prize, which was not delivered this year. This is the 81-year-old French writer and activist Maryse Condé. The finalist of this new prize was selected by an expert jury composed of four people. Among them are the editors and independent publishers, Ann Pålsson and Peter Stenson; the professor of literature at the University of Gothenburg, Lisbeth Larsson; and Gunilla Sandin, library director.

Leer en español: Maryse Condé: el nuevo Premio de Literatura Alternativo

"The four of us had the immense pleasure of reading the three remaining authors, very fascinating, very different from each other, but we cannot agree more with the finalist, the name of the winner. The New Academy in Literature 2018 is Maryse Condé, from Guadalupe", announced the jury president Ann Pålsson, at the Stockholm Public Library.

Subsequently, Pålsson went on to read the motivations that led Condé to be lauded with this new Alternative Literature Prize. Here they talked about the narrative of the French writer, which is described as full of magic, dreams, terror and love, where reality and fiction are intertwined.

"Maryse Condé is a great storyteller whose authorship belongs to world literature, describing the ravages of colonialism and post-colonial chaos in a language that is both precise and overwhelming in their stories very close to life in a (...) world where gender, race, and class constantly become new constellations", she said.

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Who is Maryse Condé?

Maryse Condé is a writer born in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, in 1937. Condé is also one of the most outstanding voices of literature of our time, author of 16 works. In 1976, the French woman wrote her first book, Heremakhonon. According to an article entitled "No Silence: An Interview with Maryse Condé," published by Johns Hopkins University, the Frenchwoman began writing when she was just a girl.

"I used to write stories and plays for my family, my brothers and sisters, I wrote my first play for my mother, then I wrote critical reviews about books for a Caribbean magazine in Paris, but I started my first novel after living 10 Years in Guinea I saw so many things: people who mutinied, were murdered, sent into exile, deported, etc. The years I spent in Africa were so tragic, I had to write about them," she explained in an interview.

Some years later Segou, one of the most successful and emblematic works of Condé, would come, which is described as the "great African saga". Segou is comprised of two books written in 1984 and 1985. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "located in the historic Segou, now part of Mali, examines the violent impact of the slave trade, Islam, Christianity and the colonization of whites in a royal family during the period from 1797 to 1860" .

Another of her most outstanding works is I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem, with which she won the Grand Prix Littéraire des jeunes lecteurs de l'Ile de France and the Grand Prix littéraire de la femme. We cannot forget her work Windward Heights, which is a writing of a novel by the English writer Emily Brontë.

Maryse Condé is one of those rich voices of Caribbean and world literature, with a complex narrative, full of characters and angles. She is a writer who touches such varied and profound topics as race and gender, as mentioned in the event that announced the Alternative Literature Prize. On December 9, the gala ceremony will take place in Stockholm, where the prize will be presented to Maryse Condé.

LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from “Maryse Condé: el nuevo Premio de Literatura Alternativo”

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