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French Voices Grand Prize Awarded to Terre ceinte

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the FACE Foundation are pleased to announce that the French Voices Grand Prize has been awarded to Terre ceinte by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr. Originally published in French by Présence Africaine, it is currently being translated by Alexia Trigo and is seeking an American publisher.

The French Voices Award supports translations of works of fiction, nonfiction, children books and comics from French to English. The goal of the program is to create a US-published series of books representing the very best of contemporary French writing in every field.

Previous French Voices Award Grand Prize winners include Daewoo by François Bon, The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou, and Nostalgia by Barbara Cassin. All three have found an American publisher: Diálogos Books for Daewoo, The New Press for The Lights of Pointe-Noire, and Fordham University Press for Nostalgia.

Terre Ceinte takes place in the imaginary town of Kalep. In this city, where an Islamist government has spread its brutal authority, two young people are executed for having loved each other. Resistance fighters try to rise up against this new world order by publishing an underground newspaper. The ensuing conflict between an Islamist police leader and his opponents will lead them all to merciless violence… But life always demands its rightful place.

The title itself, Terre ceinte, is a play on words, referring to land which is both holy and enclosed. In this brilliant analysis of tyranny and brutality, Mbougar Sarr shows us the ways in which resistance and heroism can often give way to cowardice, fear, and sometimes even collaboration with the enemy.

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr was born in Dakar in 1990. He attended university at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Terre ceinte is his first novel.

Alexia Trigo is currently completing her Masters in Philosophy at Columbia University. Terre ceinte will be her first published translation.

Eight of the selected titles, including Terre ceinte, are seeking an American publisher. For acquisition of rights, for Terre ceinte, please contact Suzanne Diop at direction-pae@sfr.fr.

For previous titles seeking an American publisher please visit this page.

If you would like to receive further information and a sample translation for any of these titles, please contact us at 972livre@gmail.com.