Guinean author Tierno Monénembo was awarded France's Renaudot prize for his novel "Le Roi de Kahel". Earlier, Afghan author Atiq Rahimi won the Goncourt Prize, France's most prestigious literary award, for "Syngué Sabour", his first French novel.
Afghan writer Atiq Rahimi on Monday won France's top book prize, the Goncourt, for a novel penned in French, "Syngue Sabour", or Stone of Patience.
It is the first novel written in French by 46-year-old Rahimi, best known for his 2002 book "Earth and Ashes", which has been made into a movie.
Guinean writer Tierno Monenembo picked up the equally prestigious Renaudot prize for a book set in West Africa at the end of the 19th century that sets the scene for the colonisation of the region -- "Le Roi du Kahel" (The King of Kahel).
Monenembo, 61, out-distanced Nobel peace prizewinner Elie Wiesel, also short-listed for the prize, for his new book "Le Cas Sonderberg" (The Sonderberg case).
Rahimi, whose previous works were written in Persian, was born in Kabul in 1962 and fled the country in the 1980s, first to Pakistan, then to France, where he studied film and settled.
His latest work -- following "The Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear" and "Eclipse" -- is the confession of an Afghan woman seeking release from social and religious oppression.
The title refers to the tradition of confiding to a magic stone and sees the heroine talking to free herself from marital and religious oppression as she watches over her husband, totally disabled by a bullet in the neck.
Date created : 2008-11-10