The City and the Cévenole Academy officially presented this Wednesday the list of nine authors in competition for this literary prize which rewards the latest works which have the Cévennes as a setting.
Nine books. It is twice less than last year, but for the Cévenole Academy, represented this Wednesday by its president Alain Bensakoun, “the quality is there”. Each year, the Cabri d’Or jury – chaired by publisher Marion Mazauric – awards this prize to books that make the Cévennes their main setting.
Clara Dupont-Monod, already favorite?
But among the nine, one book stands out: S’adapter, by Clara-Dupont Monod (Stock). The latest novel by the writer and journalist, in which the stones of a Cevennes house testify to the life of siblings upset by the disability of the youngest child, has already won the Femina and Goncourt prizes for high school students.
What discourage some. “A book like this has curbed the desire of other publishers, convinced that it was a foregone conclusion”souffle Alain Bensakoun. “But the dice are not loaded!”. “We have marvelous works here”adds Eric-Michel Tosolini, director of the Sauramps bookstore and member of the Cabri reading committee. “Patrick Cabanel has weapons too. And Gwenaëlle Abolivier offers a magnificent work on the path of Stevenson”.
Another voice of Radio France, Gwenaëlle Abolivier, effectively offers in Walk in the sky (The Word and The Rest) an ode to freedom after having walked the famous path herself. Alesian historian, Patrick Cabanel (winner of the Cabri d’Or 2005) offers here his first novel, The Jewish apple trees of Pendedis (Alcide), centered on two Jewish families who took refuge in the Cévennes at a time when barbarism sought to exterminate them.
Stories of wars, love and freedoms
It is of course not the only Cévennes to compete. A prolific Alesian author, Mireille Pluchard – winner of a special prize for her entire career in 2021 – recounts in The Colors of Destiny (Les Presses de la Cité) the Sixtine fresco, a young Cévennes from the 19th centurye century, forced into exile after becoming pregnant. Christian Laborie, Cabri d’Or 2013, offers here the first volume of Brides of the summer (Les Presses de la Cité), a historical novel narrating the heartbreak of two young lovers in Lozère under the Nazi occupation.
The other four works are then presented. Written by a father and his daughter, Justine and Jean-Marc Berlière, The silence of the Maquis (Denoël) is a genealogical thriller that explores both the families of Protestants exiled after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and those of the Cévennes maquis of the XXe century. “We can’t miss Les Cabossés either”, continues Alain Bensakoun, citing the collection of short stories by Lecordouan (Nombre7). Descendant of a miner, the Alésien returns to the peasants and miners of the 19the century broken by work.
The heart of the Spinnersnovel by Aurélie Haderlé (Les Presses de la Cité), “young teacher and talented pen”, explores the work of women in the silk mills of the last century. Last mentioned but not least, René Barral, child of Ganges, book in The freedom of lost children the story of two children on public assistance, abused by adult life and violence.
Nine is also the number of members appearing in this jury which will announce the winner on November 15th. In addition to the honour, the designated author will win the sum of €5,000.
A Goncourt winner announced for 2023
The 2022 edition has barely begun when the Cévenole Academy indicates that it has already received nearly half a dozen proposals for the Cabri d’Or 2023. And the first name discreetly announced is none other than that of Yann Quéffelec. The Breton author, Prix Goncourt 1985 for The Barbarian Weddingreleased this summer where does love come from, which tells the story of a pregnant teenager in a Viganais country occupied by the German army. A work, like those presented for the 2022 edition, is already available in bookstores and libraries. The Academy is also considering establishing a “Cabri d’or des lycéens” from 2023, modeled on that of Goncourt, in order to transmit to the younger generations the taste for reading.
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