Maryse Condé awarded the Cino Del Duca World Prize

Guadeloupean writer Maryse Condé with Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, the permanent secretary of the Académie française during the presentation of the Cino del Duca Prize - Photo: Screenshot Awards Ceremony (YouTube)

The good news arrived on Monday 17 May : the Cino Del Duca World Prize 2021 will be awarded to Maryse Condé.

On Wednesday 2 June, the 84-year-old Guadeloupean writer, despite her health problems, left her peaceful home in Gordes, located in the Vaucluse department, to go to the Institut de France in Paris – the headquarters of the Académie française and the Académie des sciences, among others – to receive this prestigious award.

The Cino Del Duca World Prize, which pays tribute to the Italian press owner, publisher and resistance fighter, was created by his widow, Simone, in 1969. Each year, it rewards an author “whose work constitutes, in scientific or literary form, a message of humanism”.

Before Maryse Condé, writers and scientists also won the Cino Del Duca Prize. They include Cuban Alejo Carpentier (1975), Russian Andrei Sakharov (1974), Senegalese Léopold Sédar Senghor (1978), Argentine Jorge Luis Borges (1980), Brazilian Jorge Amado (1990), Frenchman Yves Pouliquen (1994), Czech Václav Havel (1997), Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa (2008) and Frenchman Patrick Modiano (2010).

With its 200,000 euros, the Cino Del Ducca Prize has the largest literary prize amount after the Nobel Prize.

Many see this new award as a first step for Maryse Condé towards the Nobel Prize for Literature, as was the case for Vargas Llosa in 2010 or Modiano in 2014.

Let us recall that in 2018, the author of “I, Tituba Black Witch of Salem” was the winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize for Literature.

During the ceremony, Maryse Condé said she was pleased to have won this new prize ; the 14-member jury elected her unanimously.