Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse. Photo/Fondation Jan Michalski © Wiktoria Bosc

Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse feted at Grand Prix de l’Héroïne Madame Figaro.

Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse was feted at the Grand Prix de l’Héroïne Madame Figaro ceremony in Paris, France on Thursday, May 30, 2024

Madame Figaro is a French magazine supplement to the Saturday edition of the daily newspaper Le Figaro, focusing on and catering to women. Grand Prix de l’Héroïne Madame Figaro is a French literary prize in that publication that celebrates new heroines in French and foreign literature first awarded in 2004. Three works featuring female heroes are crowned each year: a French novel, a foreign novel, and a biography. Previous winners include Ananda Devi, Joyce Carol Oates, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Marie Ndiaye, and Leïla Slimani.

The jury for 2024, the twentieth anniversary of the award, was chaired by author Colombe Schneck alongside prominent personalities, Madame Figaro journalists, and avid readers of the magazine. They included author and literary critic Minh Tran Huy, actress and model Liya Kebede, Madame Figaro culture journalist Nelly Garnier, Mélanie Davoust, actresses Rachida Brakni and Florence Loiret Caille, Tiktoker Valentine Tedot, and ICI bookstore president and director Anne-Laure Vial.

On May 30, the winners were announced at a ceremony at the Hôtel de Montgascon in Paris with the following writer of African descent celebrated;

  • Bio/Story: Le Convoi, Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse

Le Convoi (English: The Convoi): On June 18, 1994, shortly before the end of the genocide, Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse was able to flee Rwanda with her mother thanks to a convoy from the Swiss organization Terre des hommes. Thirty years later, she recounts the path that led her to this book, the investigation with journalists, humanitarians, and survivors to find the “missing image” – a photo of her and her mother in this convoy that saved them – the days spent hidden in hotel rooms, the reign of barbarism in indifference, the life that hung by a thread on so many occasions.

Beata said, “Thank you very much to the president and members of the jury. We celebrated the 20th anniversary of this beautiful Heroines Prize @madamefigarofr ✨✨✨”

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