Sami Tchak was declared the winner of the Prix Ivoire for African Literature in French, the leading literary prize from Cote D’Ivoire, on October 14, 2022.

The Prix Ivoire is an award created by Akwaba Culture, an Ivorian law association in 2008. Open to writers from Africa and its Diasporas, the winner gets a two million CFA francs (about 3,000 euros) cheque, a trophy and attends the Geneva Book Fair. It is sponsored by the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Culture, Francophonie the International Organization of La Francophonie, the French Embassy in Abidjan, and the Librairie de France Group of Ivory Coast.

Previous winners of the Prix Ivoire have been Blaise Ndala (2021), Isabelle Rochet (2019), Gauz (Armand), Côte d’Ivoire (2018), Johary Ravaloson (Madagascar) (2017), Marijosé Alie (Martinique) (2016), Kettly Mars (Haïti) (2015), Bahaa Trabelsi (Maroc) (2014), Hemley Boum (Cameroun) (2013), Mariama N’doye (Sénégal) (2012), Frédéric Grah Mel (Côte d’Ivoire) (2011), Elisabeth Ewombè-Moundo (Cameroun) (2010), Tiburce Koffi (Côte d’Ivoire) (2009), Racine Kane (Sénégal) (2008).

The 2022 edition had 37 entries from 12 countries with a jury of literary critics Michel Koffi (president), Florence Apo, Serge Grah, Koffi Koffi, and Henri N’koumo selecting the finalists. The winner after deliberations by the jury chaired by Noma Prize 2005 winner writer Werewere-Liking is Sami Tchak (Togo), Le continent du Tout et du presque Rien, roman, éd. JC Lattès, 2021.

Through this distinction, the jury salutes the depth of a novelist who, with rare talent, raises the question of the destiny of Africa in a world that advances without it. Going back to certain ethnological visions carried on this continent, Sami Tchak makes himself the witness of a genealogy of wounds and impostures for the expected dawn to come. His work, mixing the energies of the story and the essay, knows how to speak to the most demanding readers.

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