Rabat – Will Meryem Alaoui succeed to Leila Slimani?
Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui was nominated for the prestigious Goncourt prize in 2018 for her novel “La verite sort de la bouche du cheval” (the truth comes out of the horse’s mouth), published by Gallimard.
The Goncourt jury announced, Friday, September 7, in the French city of Nancy the list of 15 writers in the running for the most famous French literary prize.
“La verite sort de la bouche du cheval,” Alaoui’s first novel, tells the story of Jmiaa, a prostitute in Casablanca who lives alone with her daughter. Her life changes when she meets Chadlia, nicknamed Bouche-de-Cheval, who wants to make her first film about life in a Casablanca neighborhood and is looking for actresses.
Meryem Alaoui is the daughter of poet and former Moroccan MP Driss Alaoui M’Dghari and wife of former journalist Ahmed Reda Benchemsi, director of Human Rights Watch for the Arab world.
If Alaoui wins the price, she will be the second Moroccan woman to win it.
In 2016, prominent French-Moroccan journalist and writer Leila Slimani won the prestigious prize for her novel “Chanson douce,” published in English as “Lullaby” and “The Perfect Nanny.”
Besides Slimani, the only other Moroccan author who has won the Goncourt Prize for best novel was Tahar Ben Jelloun for “La nuit sacree” (the sacred night) in 1987.
The Goncourt Prize is given in November each year by the Goncourt Academy to the author with “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year.” The winners of the prize tend to experience an immense increase in book sales.