The jury for the “Prix du Jeune Écrivain de Langue Française” just rewarded the Haitian author Phew Laroc (25-year-old) for his short story “Ce que nous avons fait l’automne dernier” (What we did last autumn), which deals, among other things, with harassment in schools.
This is not the first literary prize that Phew Young Laroc wins. Indeed, last May 9, the jury members of the 5th edition of the Prix Stéphane Hessel de la Jeune Écriture Francophone – awarded in Paris by Radio France Internationale and the Alliance Francophone to authors aged 15 to 25 – gave the special Prize to the young Haitian for his short story entitled “Visage dans la Nuit” (Face in the Night).
His writing talent was this time recognized by the jury members of the Prix du Jeune Écrivain de Langue Française. This literary distinction was created in 1984 by Marc Sebbah (teacher) and Henri Beulay (journalist) when the 70-year-old French writer Marguerite Duras received the Prix Goncourt which was originally intended to encourage young novelists.
The Prix du Jeune Écrivain de Langue Française (French Language Young Writer Prize), reserved for short story authors, aged from 15 to 27 years, is presented as: “an incentive for the largest number of young authors to write and to enable them to be read and, for the best of them, published “. Each year, twelve young authors receive this literary prize, which is a real springboard for starting a literary career. Some of them are today recognized writers.
“Ce que nous avons fait l’automne dernier”, in a collection
It is easy to imagine Phew Laroc’s reaction when, on 28 September, he knew that he was one of the winners of the 33rd Prix du Jeune Écrivain de Langue Française : “I received this award with great joy, a lot of emotion. Anecdote : thanks to it, I participated in Stéphane Hessel Prize. I sent my text in March of this year. When I learned that I was a semi-finalist in early April, I called a friend to tell her and she reminded me that there was the Hessel Prize whose applications ended in about ten days. And that’s how I could write just in time a text for the Stéphane Hessel Prize”, he says.
The short story that Phew presented at the Prix du Jeune Écrivain de Langue Française, entitled “Ce que nous avons fait l’automne dernier”, deals with very current social issues. “My short story is about guilt, harassment in schools and repressed feelings. It was inspired by a scandalous video that was posted on all the social networks.I was deeply shocked by this video. But not for the same reasons as the majority of people who saw a depraved youth. I saw lost and confused teenagers. I decided to write long time after the genesis of this video and its consequences”, he says.
On March 2018, Phew Laroc’s novel and that of the other eleven prize-winners will be published in a collection. In addition, invitations to France, books, travels and writing workshops will reward the young writer from Haiti and the other winners who live in Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and France.