Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam received the prestigious Prix Médicis literary prize for French fiction this year with her novel “La Thirteenth Hour”, while the Ukrainian writer Andreï Kurkov won the Médicis prize for foreign fiction for “Les Abeilles”. Grises’ (‘grey bees’).
The Medici Literary Prize, created in 1958, is awarded each year in November to authors whose “notoriety is not yet commensurate with their talent”.
The 2022 winner for French Fiction, a 56-year-old French teacher, writes from the perspective of a teenage girl, Farah, and her family, invested in a church founded by the father. They meet and bond over poetry readings.
“I’m delighted. I feel like I’m part of a line of authors that I love and appreciate,” she said, citing former winners such as Georges Perec, Mathieu Lindon and Marie Darrieussecq.
“It’s a novel, of course, but I think it’s also a tribute to poetry (…) I can only say again how proud I am to have won this beautiful prize.”
“Grey Bees” by Andrei Kurkov is a novel about the absurdity of the conflict unleashed by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
“A book about the situation in Ukraine has received such a big prize. It means there will be more readers, more people will think about what is happening in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian author told AFPTV. Russian-speaking.
“Ukraine remains a very important issue for the world,” the author continued. “It’s not a story about new escalations because I wrote the book in 2017. It’s a human story about people living, about war – it’s not about fighters, but I think the book explains a lot about the situation in Ukraine today.”
“More people will think about what is happening in Ukraine, who will be interested and I think who will support our country so that it can remain independent and be part of the European Union, which is the dream of all Ukrainian youth. “
The Prix Médicis d’Essais was awarded to Georges Didi-Huberman for “The Witness to the End” and dedicated it to the German philologist Victor Klemperer, “a great philologist who chose to stay in Dresden” under Nazism to study the mutations of the German language in a totalitarian regime.
“Klemperer is someone who concerns us all the time, all the time, every day… Elon Musk… whatever you want. This extraordinary man analyzed how a language can generate terror.”
Among the other awards given were the Jean Giono prize, awarded to Sandrine Collette for “We were wolves”, about a man isolated in the mountains with his five-year-old son, and the Castel prize to Catherine Millet for “Beginnings”. , a personal account of the author’s beginnings in the world of contemporary art.