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Team Cardiff on panel for French literary prize

30 November 2021

A team of students from the School of Modern Languages will play a part in awarding a prestigious French literary prize in 2022.

The Choix Goncourt UK prize is organised by the Higher Education, Research and Innovation Department of the French Embassy in the United Kingdom and the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, in partnership with the historic French literary society, the Académie Goncourt.

For the prize, students from British universities, take part in reading groups to discuss and debate the short-listed novels for the Prix Goncourt, the French equivalent of the Booker Prize. The reading groups, which take place in French, have begun for this year and, in March 2022, the results of their deliberations will be announced at a ceremony at the French embassy in London.

This year, the shortlisted novels are Le Voyage dans l’Est by Christine Angot, Enfant de Salaud by Sorj Chalandon, Milwaukee Blues by Louis-Philippe Dalembert, and La Plus Secrète Mémoire des hommes by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr.

Reader in French and lead for the initiative, Marie Gastinel-Jones said, “We are thrilled that our students are involved in the Choix Goncourt UK prize this year. This is a great honour for our French department. It also gives our students a fantastic and quite unique experience in which to use their French language skills and share their love of francophone cultures”.

Thomas May, who is in his fourth year studying French and Spanish (BA) said, “I am incredibly grateful to the French department for giving me the opportunity to take part in the Choix Goncourt. The diversity and importance of each piece of French literature will make the decision as to which book deserves the prize ever more difficult. However, I am certain that we will work as a team to come to a well justified and sound conclusion.”

13 students from the School of Modern Languages will take part in the Choix Goncourt UK process. This is the third consecutive year that students from around the UK have taken part in the Choix Goncourt UK prize. This year the Cardiff University team will join peers from University of Leeds, King’s College London, University of Cambridge, University of Warwick, University of Aberdeen, University of Bath, University of St Andrew’s, University of Oxford, Queen’s University Belfast, The Open University, Durham University, University of Southampton, University of Bristol and Royal Holloway University of London.

All activities related to the Choix Goncourt prize can be followed via the hashtag #ChoixGoncourtUK on social media.

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