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The Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud was named Monday in Paris winner of a great world price of French literature, for his novel “Mersault the counter-investigation”.
He will collect the Prize of the five continents of la Francophonie (Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie) in Dakar on November 28, during the Francophonie Mountain peak.
The title Mersault is the Mersault from Albert Camus’ classic novel, The foreigner.
Daoud focuses on the brother of “the Arab”, who is killed in Camus’ novel.
In Daoud’s book, the brother becomes a drunkard who rants in a bar talking about his brother and giving body to “the Arab”, who in Camus’ novel is only a symbol without a character.
In a press release, the Nobel Prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, president of the jury, explained their decision, specifying that they wished to reward “a novel which questions our blindness both through history and today and questions the question of justice and otherness once the terror of colonialism has subsided.
Kamel Daoud was born in Mostaganem. He studied French literature and today writes for a daily newspaper in Oran, where his column is the most read in Algeria. Mersault, counter-investigation is his first novel.
The award was created in 2001 to give greater international recognition to the wide variety of literature written in the French language.