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Maryse Condé accepted The New Academy Prize in Literature of SEK 320 000 in Stockholm

Under standing ovations the French author Maryse Condé of Guadeloupe received The New Academy Prize in Literature at a multitudinous prize ceremony and gala show in Stockholm. The prize sum of SEK 320 000 is one of the most substantial Swedish literary prizes and has been created through crowdfunding and sponsorships.

A notedly touched Maryse Condé was rewarded for an authorship that deserves its place in world literature. In her acceptance speech from the stage at Berns, Stockholm, she described her life, her inspiration and the colonial inheritance, which has always been an important perspective in her works. She also emphasized the importance of this prize for her native Guadeloupe.

–Since you awarded me this Prize I have been warmed by a raging fire, Maryse Condé shared in her speech for The New Academy.

–Not only by my family circle, who has always surrounded me with their affection and support. But by all those anonymous readers, met during a conference or overwhelming me with their emails, sms and phone calls telling me how happy they are at such an award so well deserved. I have never experienced anything like it.

The president of the jury, Ann Pålsson, presented the prize and a sculpture by artist Susanna Arwin.

The author Alexandra Pascalidou, actress Bianca Kronlöf and director Lo Kauppi, whom in the spring of 2018 initiated The New Academy and the literary award, hosted the gala and ceremony at Berns. Among the performances were artist duo Lise & Gertrud, musician Nike Markelius and the choreographer and former Bounce member Ambra Succi.

Among guests were, aside from Maryse Condé´s family, the French ambassador to Sweden, David Cvach, who presented a speech to the laureate, the former minister of justice to French colonies Christiane Taubira and internationally recognized publishers, musicians, artists and actors.

About the prize:

The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018 has an open and democratic format and the laureate is selected in three steps. Initially the Swedish librarians were invited to nominate authors for the prize. Then an open vote was held where the whole world was invited to cast its votes. More than 32 000 people have voted and four finalists, two women and two men were presented. In the final run, an expert jury reviewed the work of the finalists and selected a winner. One of the finalists, Haruki Murakami, withdrew from the prize due to time issues.

The jury's motivation: Maryse Condé is a grand storyteller. Her authorship belongs to world literature. In her work, she describes the ravages of colonialism and the postcolonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming. The magic the dream and the terror is as also love constantly present. Fiction and reality overlap each other and people live as much in an imagined world with long and complicated traditions as the ongoing present. Respectfully and with humour she narrates the postcolonial insanity disruption and abuse but also human solidarity and warmth The dead live in her stories closely to the living in a multitudinous world where gender race and class are constantly turned over in new constellations.

The New Academy jury has consisted of Lisbet Larsson, professor in literature at Göteborg University, Gunilla Sandin, head of library and previously program director at Göteborg Book Fair, Peter Stenson, editor, critic and translator and Ann Pålsson, independent publisher and president of the jury.

The New Academy was founded when it was declared that the Swedish Academy would not present a Nobel Prize for 2018, to ensure that an international prize in literature will be awarded in 2018.

On Monday, December 10, Maryse Condé´s visit to Stockholm is crowned with a visit to Rinkeby library, where Condé will meet students in the same arrangement as the Nobel Prize laureate has participated in for thirty years. In the evening of December 10, there will be a film screening and talks on Condé´s authorship.

Monday December 10, 10.00–12.00.

Visit to Rinkeby Library with students from Rinkeby.
Arrangement by Rinkeby Library, Stockholm Public Library and The New Academy
Adress: Skårbygränd 1
For accreditation to Rinkeby Library, contact Erika Wallin phone +46(0)50831184

Monday December 10, 18.00–20.00.

Film screening Une voix singulière at Bio Capitol followed by talks on Maryse Condé's authorship.

Panel: Richard Philcox (translator), Dan Israel (publisher), moderator: Yukiko Duke.

Address: S:t Eriksgatan 82, Stockholm.

Arrangement by Institut Francais, Leopard förlag and The New Academy.

For accreditation to Bio Capitol, contact Anna von Scheele phone +46(0)50831184

Press contact Maryse Condé and The New Academy:

Ulla Tillgren, ulla.tillgren(at), +46(0)70-588 08 53


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What is The New Academy?

The New Academy is a non-profit movement, politically and financially independent. It consists of a wide range of knowledgeable people. With democracy, openness and respect an author will be selected the laureate of The New Academy Prize in Literature and be celebrated in a grand ceremony in Stockholm in December. With that The New Academy has vindicated the importance of literature and fulfilled its mission. In December 2018 The New Academy will be dissolved.

More about The New Academy:


Ulla Tillgren

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