Hélène Cixous wins the 2021 BNF Prize

The twelfth prize of the National Library of France was awarded to? the writer and playwright He?le?ne Cixous, announced in a press release the BNF. She succeeds the novelist Virginie Despentes.

Born in 1937 in Oran (Algeria), graduate in English and Doctor of State, He?le?ne Cixous has published since 1967, more than seventy fictions and essays. Grand Prize for Theater from the French Academy in 2018, she is also a playwright. his piece, The castaways of mad hope was awarded the Prix du Syndicat de la critique in 2009. Her plays have been staged by Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théâtre du Soleil or by Daniel Mesguich. Hélène Cixous notably created and directed the Center for Women’s Studies at the University of Paris VIII, while participating in the founding of the National Center for Letters (now CNL) and the International Parliament of Writers.

Friend of Jacques Derrida, the writer published her first essay in 1968, The Exile of James Joyce or the art of replacement (Grasset), which was a great success. The following year, she received the Prix Médicis for her second novel. Inside (Grasset). She is also distinguished by the Marguerite Duras Prize for Homer is dead (Galilée) in 2014. The same year, she was also honored with the Prix de la langue française in Brive in 2014 and with the Marguerite-Yourcenar prize in 2016. In her latest book, The Book of Promethea (Gallimard, coll. “The imaginary”), which appears this week, Hélène Cixous offers a reflection on writing and the duality at work in every writer. It evokes the inner battle between the two diametrically opposed creatures that inhabit it: H. and Promethea.

Third winner since 2009

Is it this work that the jury wanted? reward. The depth of a reflection, the echo of commitments in intellectual life, an intimate search in the me?anders of memory, a writing of a rare poetry meet there. sie” Explain Laurence Engel, president of the BnF, in a press release. For 20 years, the BnF has hosted a Hélène Cixous collection, i.e. all of her manuscripts to date.
The BNF prize rewards a living French-speaking author for all of his work, whatever his discipline. It is endowed with an amount of 10,000 euros thanks to the initiative of Jean-Claude Meyer, president of the Cercle de la BnF. The 2021 jury is composed? by Laurence Engel, president of the BnF and president of the jury, Jean-Claude Meyer, president of the Cercle de la BnF and founder of the prize, Antonin Baudry, Fr?de?ric Beigbeder, Dominique Bona, Je? ro?me C?ment, Antoine Compagnon, Aure?lie Filippetti, Georges Lavaudant, Christophe Ono-dit-Biot, E?lisabeth Quin and Lei?la Slimani.

The winners of the BNF prize are gradually becoming more feminized: Philippe Sollers (2009), Pierre Guyotat (2010), Patrick Modiano (2011), Milan Kundera (2012), Yves Bonnefoy (2013), Mona Ozouf (2014), Michel Houellebecq ( 2015), Jean Echenoz (2016), Paul Veyne (2017), Emmanuel Carrère (2018) and Virginie Despentes (2019). the prize had not been awarded last year.

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Hélène Cixous wins the 2021 BNF Prize