Conde wins alternative Nobel

Maryse Conde  

Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde on Friday won an alternative award formed in protest to the Nobel Literature Prize, postponed this year over a rape scandal that came to light as part of the #MeToo movement.

The New Academy Prize in Literature was formed in protest to denounce what its founders called the “bias, arrogance and sexism” of the venerable Swedish Academy, which selects Nobel laureates. The Swedish Academy was plunged into turmoil in 2017 over its ties to Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault, who was jailed for two years in early October for rape.

Ms. Conde “describes the ravages of colonialism and post-colonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming,” the New Academy — founded by more than 100 Swedish writers, artists and journalists — said more than a week after the Nobel Literature Prize would have been announced.

Swedish librarians nominated 47 authors, who were later voted on by nearly 33,000 people from around the world, leaving four authors — two women and two men — on the short list.

“I’m very happy and proud of this prize... Please allow me to share it with my family, my friends and above all with the people of Guadeloupe, who will be thrilled and touched seeing me receive this prize,” the 81-year-old Ms. Conde, who is often among authors tipped for the Nobel prize, said in a video message.