Rabat – French literary award, the Renaudot Prize, has favored the literary works of two Moroccan authors, namely Abdelah Taia and Mahi Binebine, in its selection of nine novels and seven essays for this spring’s prize.
The Renaudot Prize has announced its spring selection, featuring 16 novelists. From this group, Morocco’s own Abdelah Taia and Mahi Binebine have been selected as authors of outstanding original novels.
Novelist and filmmaker, Abdellah Taïa, was honored for his novel, “The One Who Is Worthy of Love,” (Celui qui est digne d’être aimé). The novel narrates the story of a 40-year-old Moroccan resident of France, who wrote to his dead mother confessing his homosexuality to her, seeking closure.
Moroccan painter and novelist, Mahi Binebine, was singled out for his novel “The Fool of the King.” Inspired by the his own father and brother, the novel delves into a narrative about Binebine’s father who was King Hassan II’s jester, and his brother who took part in the Skhirat coup d’état, which killed one hundred people. Mahi Binebine recounts how his father, loyal to the king, had to deny his son.
Nine novels and seven essays were chosen for the spring selection. The jury will also add other renowned names to the selection on September4, before the final presentation of the winners, on a date yet to be announced.
The 2016 Renaudot prize was awarded to French author, Yasmina Reza, for her novel “Babylon.”
First established in 1925 by ten French art critics, the Renaudot prize was first awarded in 1926. Like the Goncourt prize, the Renaudot prize is awarded annually at a ceremony in a Parisian restaurant.