H is for Hawk and The Crossing win Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger prizes


The Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize) is a French literary prize created in 1948. It is awarded yearly in two categories: Novel (roman) and Essay (essai) for books translated in to French. 

Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk, published by Vintage and translated into French as M pour Mabel by Marie-Anne de Béru, won the fiction prize. The nonfiction prize went to Samar Yazbek’s Les Portes du Néant (Bawabat ard al-‘adam) and translated into French by Rania Samara. The English version, The Crossing, was translated by Nashwa Gowanlock and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (2015) and was originally published by Ebury.

This year’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger jury was made up of André Bay, who founded the prize, Daniel Arsand, Manuel Carcassonne, Gérard de Cortanze, Nathalie Crom, Catherine Enjolet, Anne Freyer, Christine Jordis, Jean-Claude Lebrun, Joelle Losfeld, Alexis Liebaert and Joël Schmidt. The prize has previously gone to writers such as Orhan Pamuk, Philip Roth, W.G. Sebald, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


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