Lisette Lombe wins Grand Prix du Roman 2023

Lisette Lombe wins Grand Prix du Roman 2023

Lisette Lombe’s novel Eunice won the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature of Belgium’s Grand Prix du Roman 2023 on Saturday, March 9, 2024.

The Académie royale de langue et de littérature françaises de Belgique – Royal Academy of French Language and Literature of Belgium – or ARLLFB is a Belgian institution that brings together personalities who, through their works, writings, lectures, or speeches, have contributed most eminently to the illustration of the French language, either by studying its origins and its evolution or by publishing works of imagination or criticism. It includes both Belgian and foreign members.

The organisation hosts literary awards annually starting with Grand Prix du Roman, awarded to a Belgian author of a novel or a collection of short stories or prose fiction published during the year. Awarded since 2020, it has been won by Stéphane Malandrin, Emmanuelle Dourson, and Veronika Mabardi.

The 2023 edition of the award had a shortlist of;

  • Geneviève Damas, Strange, Grasset, 2023.
  • Nadine Eghels, Avec Paul, Arléa, 2023.
  • Myriam Leroy, Le Mystère de la femme sans tête, Seuil, 2023.
  • Antoine Wauters, Le plus court chemin, Verdier, 2023.
  • Lisette Lombé, Eunice (Seuil, 2023).

From these, the jury selected Lisette Lombé’s Eunice (Seuil, 2023) as the winner on March 9. She wins the 1,500 Euro cash award.

Jury member Pierre Mertens said, “In a language that calls upon all her poetic gifts, the novelist who reveals herself here shows us how a being eager to live and love can, sublimely, save herself by reinventing her joy of existing… of returning to the world and to restore its full meaning. The Prize that we are giving her today reflects the gratitude that the Belgian-Congolese slammer and, moreover, our national poet, Lisette Lombé, inspires in readers with her wildly seductive prose.”

Lisette Lombé said, “Thanks to the Editions du Seuil for believing in Eunice and giving it life. This beautiful recognition of Bernard Comment is also that of a collection that values experimentation and hybrid forms.”

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