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iciHaiti - Literature : The Haitian writer Makenzy Orcel wins the «Choix Goncourt US»
01/05/2023 10:21:55

iciHaiti - Literature : The Haitian writer Makenzy Orcel wins the «Choix Goncourt US»
On Saturday April 29, 2023, as part of the internationalized version of the Prix Goncourt, for its second edition in the United States, the Académie Goncourt announced that the Haitian writer Makenzy Orcel received during a ceremony at the Villa Albertine from the French Embassy (Manhattan), the "Choix Goncourt US" for his book "Une somme humaine" at Éditions Payot & Rivages.

This award was granted by a jury of French-speaking students from 8 universities (Columbia, Duke, Harvard, MIT, New York University, Princeton, University of Virginia and Yale) after having studied in French for several months the 6 finalist books of the selection of the Goncourt 2022 (won in France by the Frenchwoman Brigitte Giraud with "Vivre vite" at Éditions Flammarion.

"Une somme humaine" is the second part of a trilogy (after "L'ombre animale") begun in Haiti and which will end in America.

Each book of the triptych makes hear the voice of a deceased woman who looks back on the sad flow of her life, running mingled with the skein of all these anonymous destinies forming the tumultuous and muddy river of the human condition.

"The heroine's voice comes to us from beyond the grave. Both anonymous and embodied, it is the voice of one woman and of all women. She tells us in notebooks stolen from time and death a stolen childhood, a torn adolescence, a shattered life and destiny.

Having grown up in a provincial village where rumour and gossip reign, neglected by her parents, especially by her mother who prefers the roses in her garden, she hardly finds any comfort from her grandmother no more lovely. She escapes to Paris in hopes of leading a life free from the ghosts of the past. There she studied literature at the Sorbonne, found love with a man who had fled the war in Mali, experienced the working world, before finally undergoing the test of abandonment and sinking into irreversible wandering poverty.

Let's remember that the most prestigious of the French literary prizes has become international with "Prix Goncourt selections" in 35 countries, which students in French and French-speaking literature formed into a Jury, must decide between.

Learn more about Makenzy Orcel :
Makenzy Orcel was born in Port-au-Prince in 1983. After studying linguistics, he left university to devote himself to writing. Following the January 2010 earthquake, he wrote his first novel "Les Immortelles" for which he received the Thyde-Monnier Prize from the Société des Gens de Lettres. In 2011, he published "Les latrines" in which he continued his exploration of the lowlands, in the maze of slums of Port-au-Prince. In 2012, the Reflection and Action Group for a New Haiti (GRAHN) awarded him the prize for French Literature of the Year. In January 2016, he published his third novel "L'ombre animal" by Éditions Zulma and received the Louis Guilloux Prize for this work https://www.icihaiti.com/en/news-17257-icihaiti-literature-the-writer-makenzy-orcel-laureate-of-prix-louis-guilloux-2016.html and the 2016 World-Literature Prize https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-17397-haiti-literature-the-writer-makenzy-orcel-laureate-of-the-prix-litterature-monde.html

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