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Cameroon’s Djaïli Amadou Amal Wins Prestigious French Literary Award

Djaïli Amadou Amal the Award-Winning Author

Cameroonian literary star Djaïli Amadou Amal was proclaimed the winner of the 33rd Goncourt des Lycéens on Wednesday for her book titled “Les Impatientes” – a revival of a novel published in her country in 2017 under another title, “Munyal,” a Fulani word meaning patience.

In the words of the president of the high school jury Clémence Nominé on the book’s contents, “The writing is simple and touching and sounds right, without superfluous lyricism. It is a subtle book that allows us to observe the issue of forced marriage through the prism of this moving testimony,” said by way of videoconference

Inspired by her own experience as a woman forced to marry a polygamist at the age of 17, the poignant novel explores the status of women in an oppressive patriarchal society in the South Sahel.

The now-award-winning writer expressed that the interest shown by the youth in the subject o violence against women “means hope for the future.”

Contest Background

Traditionally proclaimed in Rennes, France the city where it was created more than 30 years ago, the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens – one of the most prescriptive prizes for book sales, was announced by videoconference in the presence of French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer following the final phase decision taken by a 12 student jury.

The Prix Goncourt des Lycéens is a prestigious prize for French-language literature that was created as a sort of younger sibling to the Prix Goncourt. The ten members of the Académie Goncourt select twelve literary works as nominees.

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