Rabat – Fou du Roi (The King’s Fool), the latest novel by Moroccan author and painter Mahi Binebine, has made it into the third and final round of the 2017 Prix Renaudot. Chosen along five other novelists, Binebine is the only Moroccan remaining in the competition, after Leila Slimani was eliminated in the second round.
Binebine’s novel is competing in the final round with La Disparition by Josef Mengele d’Olivier Guez, Fief by David Lopez, Le Songe du Photographe by Patricia Reznikov, and Nos Années Rouges by Anne Sophie Stefanini.
The novels eliminated from the previous round were Nos Richesses by Kaouther Adimi, La Serpe by Philippe Jaenada, Mécaniques du Chaos by Daniel Rondeau, and Les Vacances by Julie Wolkenstein.
The final essays are “l’Ardeur” by Justine Augier, “Dieu, Allah, moi et les autres” by Salim Bachi, and “Mes pas vont ailleurs” by Jean-Luc Coatalem, while “La Nostalgie de l’honneur” by Jean René Van der Plaetsen has been eliminated.
Fou du Roi is inspired by Binebine’s father’s life as a talented storyteller who entertained the Moroccan King Hassan II until his death in 1999.
The novel recounts how Binebine’s father was loyal to the king and had rejected his son, Aziz, a soldier who was imprisoned in Morocco’s most brutal prison, Tazmamart, for participating in the 1971 coup attempt against the late Hassan II..
The winners of the 2017 Prix Renaudot will be revealed in a ceremony on November 6, at the Drouant restaurant in Paris, in parallel with the Prix Goncourt.