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Albertine Prize Award Ceremony 2019

Meet the winner of the 2019 Albertine Prize -an annual readers' choice award that will give $10,000 to an author/translator duo for the winning book. 

Our Honorary Chairs—acclaimed author and translator Lydia Davis and French literary critic and TV and radio host François Busnel—will reveal the names of the winning author and translator, who will then join them for a discussion and Q&A.

Eventbrite RSVP required.

Watch this event on Livestream at 7pm EST on June 5, 2019.

 

The 5 nominated titles :

Waiting for Tomorrow by Nathacha Appanah, translated by Geoffrey Strachan (Graywolf Press)

Anita is waiting for Adam to be released from prison. They met twenty years ago at a New Year’s Eve party in Paris, a city where they both felt out of place—he as a recent arrival from the provinces, and she as an immigrant from the island of Mauritius. They quickly fell in love, married, and moved to a village in southwestern France, to live on the shores of the Atlantic with their little girl, Laura.
 
In order to earn a living, Adam has left behind his love of painting to become an architect, and Anita has turned her desire to write into a job freelancing for a local newspaper. Over time, the monotony of daily life begins to erode the bonds of their marriage. The arrival of Adèle, an undocumented immigrant from Mauritius whom they hire to care for Laura, sparks artistic inspiration for both Adam and Anita, as well as a renewed energy in their relationship. But this harmony will prove to be short-lived, brought down by their separate transgressions of Adèle’s privacy and a subsequently tragic turn of events.

 

Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, translated by Tina Kover (Europa Editions)

Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twenty-five and facing the future she has built for herself as well as the prospect of a new generation, Kimiâ is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which come to her in unstoppable, uncontainable waves. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them.

In this high-spirited, kaleidoscopic story, key moments of Iranian history, politics, and culture punctuate stories of family drama and triumph. Yet it is Kimiâ herself––punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, a Scheherazade of our time, and above all a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own “disorientalization”––who forms the heart of this bestselling and beloved novel.

 

Small Country by Gaël Faye, translated by Sarah Ardizzone (Hogarth Books)

Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expat neighbourhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister, Ana, is something close to paradise. These are happy, carefree days spent with his friends sneaking cigarettes and stealing mangoes, swimming in the lake and riding bikes in the streets they have turned into their kingdom. But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful idyll will shatter when Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda are brutally hit by war.

 

The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani, translated by Sam Taylor (Penguin Books)

When Myriam decides to return to work as a lawyer after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their son and daughter. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, motherhood, and madness—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.

 

The Order of the Day by Éric Vuillard translated by Mark Polizzotti (Other Press)

February 20, 1933, an unremarkable day during a harsh Berlin winter: A meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi officials is being held in secret in the plush lounge of the Reichstag. They are there to extract funds for the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its Chancellor. This opening scene sets a tone of consent that will lead to the worst possible repercussions.

March 12, 1938, the annexation of Austria is on the agenda: A grotesque day intended to make history—the newsreels capture a motorized army on the move, a terrible, inexorable power. But behind Goebbels’s splendid propaganda, an ersatz Blitzkrieg unfolds, the Panzers breaking down en masse on the roads into Austria. The true behind-the-scenes account of the Anschluss—a patchwork of minor flourishes of strength and fine words, fevered telephone calls, and vulgar threats—all reveal a starkly different picture. It is not the strength of character or the determination of a people that wins the day, but rather a combination of intimidation and bluff.

 


 

About the Albertine Prize

The Albertine Prize, co-presented by Van Cleef & Arpels and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, recognizes American readers’ favorite work of contemporary Francophone fiction that has been translated into English and published in the US within the preceding calendar year.

The selection committee is composed of the Albertine Prize Honorary Chairs—acclaimed author and translator Lydia Davis and French literary critic and TV and radio host François Busnel—along with the staff of the Albertine bookstore, and the Book Department of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Readers will be invited to vote albertine.com between April 3rd, 2019 and April 30th, 2019. A $10,000 prize will be split between the author ($8000) and translator ($2000) of the winning title at a ceremony held on June 5th at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

2018 Winner:  Not One Day (Deep Vellum, 2017) by  Anne Garréta, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan

2017 Winner: Bardo or Not Bardo (Open Letter Books, 2016) by Antoine Volodine, translated from the French by J. T. Mahany

 

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