Franco-Rwandan author Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse is the 2020 winner of the Prix des 5 continents de la Francophonie for her novel Tous tes enfants disperses. The Prize will be presented in Paris, at the headquarters of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), on the sidelines of the International Day of La Francophonie on March 20, 2021.
The 2020 Prix des 5 continents de la Francophonie is awarded to Rwandan author Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse. The prize goes to his novel “Tous tes enfants disperses” published in 2019 by Éditions Autrement. “An ode to transmission, to the impulse of life, this novel of great contained emotion brings the voices of three generations to the memory of the genocidal years in order to rediscover a meaning of life. It talks about the bittersweet reunion between an old mother and her daughter who had escaped the Rwandan genocide, An occasion for both historical and intimate evocation of these nightmarish years, which we will remember thanks to the testimonies of the poets and the just,” noted the International Jury, chaired by Paula Jacques.
Created in 2021, the Prix des cinq continents is endowed with an amount of 10,000 euros.It aims to reveal literary talents reflecting the expression of cultural and editorial diversity in the French language on all five continents.This award also provides the author with international visibility. The winner thus benefits from promotional support for a whole year, the OIF ensuring his participation in literary meetings, fairs and international fairs identified by common agreement with him.
The Prix des 5 continents is open to narrative fiction (novel, narrative and short story collection) published annually. It welcomes any French-speaking author whatever his literary maturity.
The winner is chosen by the international jury, chaired by Paula Jacques (Egypt-France). It is composed of: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (Mauritius), Lise Bissonnette (Canada-Quebec), Ananda Devi (Mauritius), Hubert Haddad (France-Tunisia), Monique Ilboudo (Burkina Faso), Vénus Khoury-Ghata (Lebanon), Liliana Lazar (Romania), Wilfried N’Sondé (Congo), René de Obaldia of the French Academy (Hong Kong), Lyonel Trouillot (Haiti), Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti), Jun Xu (China) and Gilles Jobidon (Canada-Quebec).
Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse was born and raised in Butare, Rwanda. She survived the Tutsi genocide in 1994. She immigrated to France in July of the same year. After high school, she began literary studies (hypokhâgne and khâgne), obtained a diploma from the Lille Institute of Political Studies, then a DESS in international cooperation and development at the University Panthéon-Sorbonne. She worked for international NGOs before moving to Bordeaux in 2007 where she coordinates health prevention projects. There, she founded and co-leads a circle of Afro-Caribbean readings.
His first collection of short stories, “Ejo”, published in 2015 by La Cheminante, won several awards including the François Augiéras Prize in 2016. Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse published “Lézardes”, her second collection of short stories, in 2017 and “Après le progrès”, another collection of 45 prose poems, in 2019.