Sacred Béarn media personality of the year, the Billérois novelist David Diop split at the Zénith with a declaration of love for Béarn and the Béarnais.
Since 2018 and obtaining the Goncourt for high school students, the literary prizes, David Diop. He even collects them across the planet as the success of his novel “Soul Brother” is worldwide, with its 23 translations. A phenomenon crowned in 2021 by obtaining the prestigious Booker Prize International, a first for a French writer. Let’s not be afraid of words, the teacher-researcher at the University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour has become a figure in literature far beyond our borders, to the point that the former President of the States -Unis Barack Obama announced in July that “Soul Brother” was at the top of his reading recommendations for the summer. A form of consecration, casually. In the process, the third novel by David Diop “The door of the return trip”, a superb story of adventure and love, both powerful and poetic, once again seduces both critics and the general public.
David Diop would therefore have every reason in the world to take himself seriously and to see himself as important as he is, after all, has become over a sensational trajectory. He is not the kind of guy, and we could still see it this Saturday evening during the evening of the Béarnais of the year, where he wanted to do honor, with a confusing humility and simplicity, to its most popular Béarnais prize of the year. A distinction that is more than deserved and difficult to contest when a global icon like Barack takes charge of advertising for you.
Covered with literary prizes, the citizen of Billère appeared, yet very discreet and modest in temperament, very sincerely touched by this local manifestation of recognition. He even split in front of the public with a true declaration of love for his host land since 1998, he who was born in Paris and raised in Senegal.
“I travel a lot, and I am also from Béarn,” he confided on the microphone. My “country” is Béarn. The more I travel, the more I realize how lucky we are to live here. And I am therefore one of those who love Béarn and of those who, I hope, and this award is perhaps the proof, of those who have been adopted here in Béarn ”.
What is certain is that David Diop has long been “adopted” by the editorial staff of Pyrénées Presse. The novelist had already awarded a prize during the 2019 edition of the Béarnais of the year. He was already among the nominees in the media category. And last June, he responded very kindly to our proposal to be the guest of the editorial staff in our premises. For more than two hours, he had first agreed to deliver his points of view on various subjects of current affairs in Béarn, then answered our questions about his career, his construction as a writer at the age of fifty, his management of success. , his way of approaching the issues of racism and colonization, his teaching profession that he wants to continue to exercise …
Because this Béarn roots, whether in his university life in Pau, in his personal life with those close to him, David Diop says he needs it. Like landmarks, which perhaps, allow him between two trips to the other side of the planet, to keep his feet on the ground. And seeing the joy inscribed in the depths of his gaze on Saturday evening, we can clearly see that for David Diop, a world-famous writer, it is important and refreshing to feel a little “prophet” in his “country”.
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Pau writer David Diop: “My“ country ”is Béarn”