Maryse Condé receives The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018 at Berns

By on December 8, 2018

Maryse Condé receives The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018 at Berns, Stockholm on December 9

The french language author Maryse Condé from Guadeloupe visits Sweden on December 8–11 to receive The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018.

The official program in Stockholm includes the prize ceremony at Berns on December 9 and a visit to Rinkeby library on December 10, where Condé will meet students in the same arrangement as the Nobel Prize laureate has participated in for thirty years. On the evening of December 10 there will be a film screening and talks on Condés authorship at Bio Capitol.

– This Prize means international recognition. I never dreamed I would reach that stage. I was convinced that my writing could only interest people like me: traumatized by history marginalized because of the small size of their country and belonging to a color that some still despise, Maryse Condé says.

Condé is the grand old lady of Caribbean literature. A magical storyteller with a unique voice. An important explorer of power, gender race and class in the aftermath of colonialism.

Maryse Condé was born in 1937 in Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadelope in the West Indies. She moved to Paris at the age of 16 to study at Sorbonne and has a doctor’s degree from there. He research was on stereotype portrayals of individuals of colour in caribean literature. Later she moved to West Africa and worked in Guinea, Ghana and Senegal for more than a decade.
Together with her husband, translator Richard Philcox, Maryse Condé later moved to the US, where, for a couple of decades, she taught at a number of American universities, among them Berkeley, Harvard and Columbia. She taught at the department of french language caribbean literature at Columbia University in New York until 2002. Today she lives with her husband in Gordes, of french Provence.

– I belong to a small island with no say on international issues,Ms. Condé says. Guadeloupe is mentioned only when there is a hurricane, but I have always been convinced we have a wonderful culture fabricated from various influences: Europeans, Africans, Indians, Chinese. Winning this prize would mean that our voice, the voice of the Guadeloupeans, is starting to be heard. It would be the beginning of a true Guadeloupean identity.

She has published some twenty novels, among them: SégouTraversée de la mangrove, Desirada, En attendant la montée des eaux, La vie sans fards, Célanire.

Maryse Condé has previously received numerous French awards, among them the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize, Prix de l´Academie francaise and The Legion of Honor.

Official program for Maryse Condés visit to Sweden:

  • Sunday December 9, 16.00 – 19.00.
  • Prize Ceremony at Berns – stage performance and prize giving ceremony 17.00–18.00.
  • Arrangement by The New Academy.

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