Novelists Nahed Boukhalfa, Mhenni Khalifi and Ryad Girod won Sunday, in Algiers, Assia Djebar Grand Prize for Novel, in its 4th edition, for their literary works in Arabic, Tamazight and French.
The winners received their prize, with a financial reward of one (1) million dinars for each of the three languages, at a ceremony held at the Abdelatif-Rahal International Conference Center, in the presence of members of the government and figures of the cultural scene.
Assia-Djebar Prize, a literary distinction named after the writer, historian and Algerian filmmaker who passed away in 2015, was granted to Nahed Boukhalfa for her fiction in Arabic “سيران وجهة رجل متفائل” (Siren, destination of an optimistic man), Mhenni Khalifi for his Tamazight novel “Imehbal” (Madmen) and Ryad Girod for “The eyes of Mansour” (French).
Published in 2018 by El Baghdadi, “Mermaid, the destination of an optimistic man” unveils issues of society including the condition of women and peasant life through the story of a child from Tebessa.
The laureates Mhenni Khalifi and Ryad Girod, absent at the ceremony, published their works at “Chikh Mohand Oulhoucine” and Barzakh, respectively.
A total of 66 novels (26 in Arabic, 32 in French and eight in Tamazight) competed for the fourth edition of Assia-Djebar Grand Prize, which saw the participation of manuscripts with “good” content, said the president of the jury, Aicha Kassoul.
In his speech, Minister of Communication, Djamel Kaouane, emphasized that Assia Djebar Grand Prize, which bears the name of a writer and academician “attached to her homeland and her identity”, contributes to the promotion of Algerian literature.
The prize was granted, in 2017, to Merzak Bektache for his novel in Arabic “Rain writes his memoirs”, Mustapha Zaarouri for “Dwagi i d assirem-iw (It’s my hope, in Tamazight).
The “Boulevard de l’Abime”, published in French, was awarded posthumously to Nourredine Saadi, who died shortly before the award ceremony.
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