The shortlist for Prix Kourouma 2024 featuring five writers was announced in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, February 5, 2024.
Ahmadou Kourouma was a legendary Ivorian novelist of many titles including Les Soleils des indépendances (1968), Le diseur de verité (1972), and the most famous Allah n’est pas oblige (2000) which was translated to Allah Is Not Obliged. The last title won him awards like the Grand Prix Jean-Giono. Prix Renaudot, and Prix Goncourt des Lycéens.
In 2003, Kourouma passed away and the Salon du Livre Genève (Geneva Book Fair) set up a literary prize in his honour in the following year. Awarded annually, the Prix Ahmadou Kourouma rewards a French-speaking, African or African-born author from sub-Saharan Africa, for a fictional work – novel, story or short story – including the spirit of independence, lucidity and clairvoyance in the vein of the literary and humanist heritage bequeathed by the Ivorian novelist. It has been won by among others, Scholastique Mukasonga, Tierno Monénembo, Mutt-Lon, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, Mbarek Ould Beyrouk, Max Lobe, Wilfried N’Sondé, David Diop, Hemley Boum, Blaise Ndala, Osvalde Lewat, and Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse.
The jury for 2023 comprises the President of Literary Criticism for Le Temps Isabelle Rüf alongside Vice-president Romuald Fonkoua who is a University Professor and Paris-Sorbonne University Director of the International Centre for Francophone Studies. Also on the jury are writer, poet, and slammer Timba Bema; author and University of Basel professor Isabelle Chariatte; Professor UNIL Christine Le Quellec Cottier; and Literary critic and professor of French literature at Sarah Lawrence College Boniface Mongo Mboussa. The honorary president was Jacques Chevrier, the Emeritus professor at the Sorbonne and president of the ADELF, the association of French-language writers.
The jury announced the longlist on December 17, 2023 before the shortlist was made public and those on it are;
- Balla Fofana, La Prophétie de Dali (Grasset)
- Bessora, Vous, les ancêtres (J.C. Lattès)
- Charline Effah, Les femmes de Bidibidi (Emmanuelle Collas)
- Libar Fofana, Un arc-en-ciel dans les ténèbres (Gallimard | Continents noirs)
- Mahmoud Soumaré, Terre des sans-patrie (Les classiques Ivoiriens)
The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony at the Geneva Book Fair which runs from March 6 – 10, 2024.
Please read more about the shortlisted books at our friends at Afrolivresque by clicking here.
Please consider supporting the work we do at Writing Africa with a one-off donation or regularly on Mobile Money, PayPal, or Patreon. Click here for information on how to support our work.