Makenzy Orcel laureate for his novel A Human Sum

Makenzy Orcel laureate for his novel A Human Sum

The first edition of the Goncourt Choix du Maroc, organized by the French Institute of Morocco and the Goncourt Academy in partnership with the North Africa Regional Directorate of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, announced its winner on Tuesday, June 5 during the SIEL. The Goncourt Choice of Morocco was awarded to the work entitled ” A human sum by the writer Makenzy Orcel, published by Rivages. The novel will be translated into Arabic and the author, of Haitian origin, will be invited to Morocco in 2024 to discuss with readers.

According to a press release from the French Institute of Morocco, the ceremony took place in the presence of Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassador of France to Morocco, Françoise Chandernagor, writer and Vice-President of the Académie Goncourt, Danielle Pailler, Regional Director of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie for North Africa, and Mrs. Lamia Berrada-Berca, writer and godmother of Goncourt Choix du Maroc. The 6 student jurors, accompanied by their teachers and the deans of the participating faculties, pronounced the proclamation of the laureate.

With this first edition, Morocco joins the family of International Goncourt Choices, which allows Moroccan students to select their winner from among the 4 novels of the latest selection of the Goncourt Prize, a literary award given in France to the best French-language novel.

This project, launched a year ago, brought together and mobilized 7 Arts faculties, 70 students and their teachers throughout the Kingdom. Among these institutions are the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Fez, the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Marrakech, the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Agadir, the Faculty of Languages, Arts and Human Sciences of Ait Melloul Agadir, the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Rabat, the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Kenitra, as well as the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Aïn Chock Casablanca.

Throughout the year, the students were supervised by their godmother Lamia Berrada-Berca, hailed for her communicative passion for reading and literature. They read all the novels in the running, confronted their points of view and their sensibilities in order to choose the best French novel among those of the third selection of the Académie Goncourt.

Following a process of local ballots, the representatives of each jury met on June 5 at the French Institute in Rabat for a closed-door deliberation in the presence of the famous novelist Françoise Chandernagor, who shared her experience as an academician of Goncourt.

Quoted in the press release, the French ambassador, Christophe Lecourtier, paid tribute to the commitment of the students and teachers participating in this first edition. He underlined that the Goncourt Choix du Maroc is not only a prize, but that it also launches an adventure and a cultural dynamic around reading, which aims to become deeply rooted within Moroccan academic institutions.

For her part, Françoise Chandernagor recalled the importance of French-language literature in the world and expressed her wish to see the Goncourt Choix du Maroc grow in size in the years to come. Danielle Pailler underlined the uniqueness of this cultural project, promoting exchanges between the literature departments of Moroccan faculties and helping to develop students’ critical thinking, by encouraging respect for each other’s points of view.

When the winner was announced, Makenzy Orcel was delighted with this recognition in front of the student jurors. They underlined the power of his work, which gives voice to all the voices of the world and succeeds, through powerful writing, in giving words to death. A special headband Choice Goncourt of Morocco was created especially for Moroccan booksellers to promote the book.

This first edition of the Goncourt Choix du Maroc thus marks the beginning of a promising literary adventure, bringing together lovers of reading and literature in Morocco, while encouraging cultural exchanges and highlighting French-speaking talents.


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