Discovering Remarkable Second Novels
In the realm of contemporary literature, the Alain Spiess Second Novel Award stands as a commendable platform, spotlighting remarkable second novels that have impressed readers with their unique storytelling. Established in 2017 as a tribute to the late writer Alain Spiess, this award has gained recognition for nurturing literary excellence.
Exploring Evocation d’un Memorial à Venise
This year’s shortlist of 7 exceptional writers includes Khalid Lyamlahy, author of Evocation d’un Memorial à Venise (published by partners and friends, the admirable Présence Africaine Editions), a novel that addresses the profound themes of human migration, memory, and the tragic death of Pateh Sabally, a Gambian refugee in Venice.
A Narrative of Dual Journeys
Lyamlahy’s narrative alternates between his own quest to understand Pateh’s tragedy and a vivid reimagining of Pateh’s life journey. The novel touches upon the migration crisis, human dignity, and the challenges artists face when memorializing migrants who’ve lost their lives.
Giving Voice to the Marginalized
Evocation d’un Memorial à Venise highlights the significance of art and literature in giving a voice to marginalized individuals and commemorating their stories. Khalid Lyamlahy, a Moroccan writer, draws from his own experiences to underscore the challenges faced by writers from his region in finding publishers willing to amplify their voices.
Literature as a Bridge
The book also emphasizes the role of literature in fostering dialogue and understanding across cultures and expresses support for migrants while calling for global action to aid those forced to flee their homelands due to adversity.
A Celebration of Literature and Empathy
As Evocation d’un Memorial à Venise vies for the Alain Spiess Second Novel Award, it serves as a poignant reminder that storytelling can bridge divides and illuminate the lives of those often overlooked by history’s turbulent events. Khalid Lyamlahy’s evocative narrative stands as a testament to the enduring power of literature to inspire empathy and connection.
Mark Your Calendar
Stay tuned for the award ceremony in December at Trouville-sur-Mer, where the winner will be celebrated, and their remarkable journey acknowledged. It’s an opportunity to witness the emergence of a new literary star and perhaps find a piece of your own heart within the pages of this compelling novel.
The winner will be known by the end of October: here
Book information: here
The book on Présence Africaine: here