iciHaiti - Goncourt 2021 : Milwaukee Blues by Louis-Philippe Dalembert among the 4 finalists
List of the 3rd selection of the Prix Goncourt 2021 :
"Le Voyage dans l’Est" by Christine ANGOT (Flammarion editions)
"Enfant de salaud" de Sorj CHALANDON (Grasset editions)
"Milwaukee Blues" by Louis-Philippe DALEMBERT (Sabine Wespieser editions)
"La plus secrète mémoire des hommes" by Mohamed Mbougar SARR, (Philippe Rey /Jimsaan editions)
Milwaukee Blues summary :
The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 inspired Louis-Philippe Dalembert to write this heartbreaking novel.
"It is the life of his hero, an imaginary figure named Emmett (like Emmett Till, a teenager murdered by Southern racists in 1955) that he will stage, the life of a kid from the ghettos blacks that his talent for American football promised a rich future.
His former teacher and his childhood friends remember a good little one raised alone by a very pious mother, and who went straight, all in his passion for the oval ball. Later, his coach at the college where he obtained a scholarship, as well as his then-fiancée, were struck by the lack of self-confidence of this shy big boy who had become the star of the campus. Everything smiles on him, until an accident that immobilizes him for a few months... His coach, who treats him like a son, advises him to repeat, but Emmett prefers to try the Draft, the selection by a professional franchise. Failure then shifts his fate, and it is a man dedicated to collecting odd jobs, always exhausted, who years later will return to his hometown, until the drama that opens the novel."
The strength of this novel lies in its poignant and tender portrayal of an ordinary man whose terrifying death stood out. With the verve and humor that are customary to him, Dalembert makes him friendly and familiar, while affirming, through the voice of Ma Robinson, the former prison guard turned pastor, her faith in a better humanity.
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