Haiti-born/Montreal based writer Dany Laferrière has won the Prix Mèdicis in France for his novel L’Énigme du retour. The prize, given annually to a writer whose “fame does not yet match their talent,” is the second honour in the last week for Laferrière, who won the 2010 Blue Metropolis Literary Grand Prix on Oct. 27. L’Enigme du retour (The Enigma of Return) is a fictionalized account of a Haitian man returning to his former home to attend his father’s funeral.
Laferrière, a journalist in his native Haiti, came to Canada in 1978 to escape the Duvalier regime. He was in a series of low-paying jobs before the 1985 publication of Comment faire l’amour avec un Nègre sans se fatiguer, published in English as How to Make Love to a Negro. Now 56, Laferrière has written 16 novels and works as a journalist, TV and radio host, screenwriter and director. He won the 2006 Governor General’s Award for Je suis fou de Vava, his first novel for children.
Known for his thoughtful and often provocative writing, Laferrière often writes about the immigrant experience. He now divides his time between Montreal and Miami. Je suis un écrivain japonais, translated into English as I am a Japanese Writer, is due for publication by Douglas & McIntyre in fall 2010.
For the original report go to http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/11/05/prix-medicis.html