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Guinea’s Tierno Monénembo has been honoured with the 2017 Grand Prix de la Francophonie, the biggest award of the Académie Française.

Founded by the Canadian Government in 1986, the 30,000-euro Grand Prix de la Francophonie is given for “the work of a French-speaking physical person who, in his country or internationally, has contributed eminently to the maintenance and illustration of the French language.” It recognizes artistic as well as political contributions to the French language.

Previous African winners of the award include Madagascar’s Jacques Rabemananjara in 1988, Algeria’s Mohammed Dib in 1994, Senegal’s Abdou Diouf in 1996, Morocco’s Abdellatif Laabi in 2011, and Senegal’s Aminata Sow Fall in 2015.

Born in Guinea, with part of his life spent in Senegal, Algeria and Morocco, Tierno Monénembo currently lives in France. With eleven books to his credit, his le Roi de Kahel (The King of Kahel) won the 2008 Prix Renaudot. His other books include Les Crapauds-brousse ( 1979), Les Écailles du ciel (1986), Un rêve utile (1991), Un attiéké pour Elgass (1993), Pelourinho (1995), L’Aîné des orphelins (2000), Peuls (2004), La Tribu des gonzesses(2006), and Le Terroriste noir (2012). His has been described as a “unique style alternating gravity and lightness.”

Tierno Monénembo is also known for calling out the silence of the international community after the September 2009 massacre of over 150 civilians in Conakry by the Guinean military. His words in a piece in Le Monde are notable:

“Guinea is dying, the world has the right to know, the world has the duty to be indignant. The Guineans deserve the compassion of other nations.”

On June 14, Tierno Monénembo’s tenth novel Le Terroriste noir (The Black Terrorist) saw its film adaptation released. Titled Nos Patriotes, the film centres around Addi Bâ, who joined the French Resistance as a member of the first Maquis des Vosges during World War II. He became known to the Germans as Der schwarze Terrorist (The Black Terrorist).

Congratulations to Tierno Monénembo.

 

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017), for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. His conversations appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. Born in Aba, he combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “The Académie Française Honours Guinea’s Tierno Monénembo with the Grand Prix de la Francophonie” Subscribe

  1. Simeon Mpamugoh 2017/06/30 at 11:43 #

    Congratulations Tierno Monénembo for doing Africa pround

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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