100 years ago, the scandal of the first black Goncourt

Audio 19:30

René Maran.


By: Clémentine Pawlotsky

1 min

The literary awards season is officially launched in France.

The opportunity to come back to the scandal of the first black Goncourt.

100 years ago, in 1921, in the middle of the colonial period, the most prestigious of French literary awards was awarded to René Maran, for his novel



This book tells about the daily life of an African chef, his traditions, his love affairs, his relationship with flora and fauna.


It is the first time that a work honoring African heroes has been sacred.

It is also the first time that a black author has received such an award.

The shock wave is international.

The media controversy quickly turns into a political scandal because, in his book, René Maran - then colonial administrator - denounces the abuses of French settlers in Africa.

Throughout this program, we will come back to the history of this work.

But also that of its author, too often reduced to the




Decryption with:

Fabrice Gardel, 

author, documentary maker, specializing in modern portraits of writers for the general public, author of the documentary "

René Maran, the first black Goncourt


Françoise Simasotchi-Bronès, 

professor of literature at the University of Paris 8, she is a specialist in the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean areas.

In particular, it organized a study day "

René Maran, the work and the man, contrasted approaches



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  • Culture

  • Literature

  • Literary prizes

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