Young Senegalese writer Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (31 years) has been awarded the Prix Goncourt, France’s leading literature prize, for his novel, “The Most Secret Memory of Men” (La plus secrète mémoire des hommes), published by Philippe Ray.
The novel had previously been nominated for more than one award and has received wide acclaim from critics. It is the diary of a young African poet who moves to France to follow the trails of an African writer named TC Aleman, who gained wide fame and deserved the title “The African Rambo”, although he had only published one novel before his absence.
The award comes 100 years after the first African Goncourt, in 1921, which was René Maron.
Four novels on the shortlist had competed for the award, the highest of its kind that rewards novels written in the French language.
The winner of the Goncourt will receive a check of 10 token euros, only. But his real material reward, in addition to the moral gain, comes from the proceeds of a winning novel that often sells hundreds of thousands of copies and translations.