The Guadeloupean writer Maryse Condé has won the international alternative to the Nobel Prize for Literature, created by a hundred personalities from the world of Swedish culture –through an organization called The New Academy– after learning that the real Nobel is not going to be granted this year because of the scandals of sexual abuse that have sprung up at the Nordic Country Academy. Born in 1937 in Pointe-à-Pitre, capital of the island of Guadalupe, in the Caribbean, Condé is an outstanding writer from that region, author of about twenty novels and has dealt with colonialism and its consequences in her works. For this award, the organizers had also selected the British writer as finalists Neil Gaiman and the Canadian of Vietnamese origin Kim Thúy.
The New Academy is a initiative driven by Swedish media writer and journalist Alexandra Pascalidou, who has managed to bring writers, librarians and artists from the Nordic country together. Pascalidou said during the ceremony in which the name of the winner was announced today who felt "embarrassed" when the Swedish Academy announced that there would be no Literature Nobel this year.
Indeed, at the beginning of last May, the institution explained its decision not to grant in 2018, for the first time since 1949, the Nobel Prize for Literature; in 2019, they announced, they will grant two. The reason is the scandal of sexual abuse in which the dramatist has been involved Jean-Claude Arnault –finally sentenced to two years in prison for rape–, linked to the Academy through his literary club, and husband of one of its members, Katarina Frostenson. A controversy that, likewise, has uncovered a series of irregularities within the organism.
In this context the New Academy was born: "We have founded the New Academy to remember that literature and culture, in general, should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privileges, prejudices of arrogance or sexism, "they explained in a statement last July.
At that time a process began in which uWe 3,000 Swedish librarians chose, first 47 writers, from which four finalists came out after a vote open to everyone through the organization's website. A list in which, in addition Gaiman, Thúy and Condé herself, was the Japanese Haruki Murakami, a worldwide sales success habitual in the quinielas to the Nobel, who asked expressly that they withdrew his candidacy.
The prize, worth one million Swedish crowns (about 100,000 euros), will be delivered on December 10, the same day that the authentic Nobels are delivered, and the next day is scheduled to dissolve the organization.
"A great storyteller"
"Maryse Condé is a great narrator, her authorship belongs to world literature," she begins by justifying her decision in a statement to New Academy. He emphasizes his use of language – "at the same time precise and overwhelming" – a style in which fiction and reality are superimposed on themes that range from magic, dream and terror to love. "The dead live in their stories very close to life in a crowded world where gender, race and class are constantly delivered in new constellations," the statement said.
Born in Guadalupe in 1937, Condé moved to Paris with 16 years to study at the Sorbonne, then returned to West Africa, where she worked in Guinea, Ghana and Senegal for more than a decade. He has also lived in the United States, where he has taught at the universities of Berkeley, Harvard and Columbia. She currently lives with her husband in Gordes, in the French Provence. Among his novels, The New Academy highlights the titles Ségou (1984-1985), Traverse of the mangrove (1989) or Desirada (2000).