The Femina prize for the French novel was awarded on Monday, October 25, to Clara Dupont-Monod for Adaptpublished in Stock editions. Gathered at the Carnavalet Museum in Paris, the exclusively female jury chose this winner in the eighth round, with six votes, against five to Thomas B. Reverdy for Climax (Flammarion).
A 48-year-old publisher and journalist, Clara Dupont-Monod won the Landerneau readers’ prize for this fiction about the arrival of a disabled child in a family. “I would like to dedicate [ce prix] to all the different beings, who are still 12 million in France, and to all their siblings, all those who take care of them, she commented to the press. When a jury says: we’re going to adapt to a misfit, well, we say to ourselves that it’s almost won. » The author, warned by her publisher, said she was surprised by the news. “I didn’t understand right away. It’s very moving: it goes beyond the book, what this prize crowns, and that’s what touches me, “ she explained.
Ahmet Altan and Annie Cohen-Solal also rewarded
This prize is the first of the great literary prizes of the fall, before the Medici, Tuesday, the Grand Prix of the novel of the French Academy, Thursday, and the Goncourt and Renaudot prizes, on November 3.
The Femina prize for the foreign novel went to Ahmet Altan, for Mrs Hayat (Actes Sud), a novel written in prison and not yet published in its original language. He won in the first round. In the book, the young narrator falls in love with a lady older than him, whom he writes“She wasn’t beautiful, strictly speaking, but [qu’]she had something even more attractive than beauty, a sparkle of vitality..
Released from prison in April after his conviction for participation in the failed coup of 2016, which he firmly denies, the 71-year-old writer and journalist cannot leave his country. “Unfortunately I will not be able to be with you today. (…), traveling outside of Turkey being forbidden to me”, he said in a video of thanks to the jury. In a letter read to the press by his French publisher Timour Muhidine, the author dedicated this Femina prize “to all Turkish and Kurdish women unjustly imprisoned”.
Finally, the essay prize was awarded to Annie Cohen-Solal, for A Stranger Named Picasso (Fayard), who tells how the Spanish master never acquired French nationality. First eliminated from the selection of finalists, this work was drafted and elected in the fourth round with six votes. The historian, interviewed by Agence France-Presse, said she was delighted. “Picasso happens to be 140 today! He is a man who never complained about what happened to him, even though for decades he went through something that all foreigners go through: he went to the police station every two years to put his fingerprints. He never said a word about it.”recalled Annie Cohen-Solal.
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The Femina 2021 prize for the French novel awarded to Clara Dupont-Monod