The Goncourt Prize of Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the pride of Senegal

Senegalese writer Mohamed Mbougar Sarr winner of the 2021 Goncourt Prize in Paris on November 3, 2021. AFP - BERTRAND GUAY

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

The prestigious Goncourt Prize was awarded to Senegalese writer Mohamed Mbougar Sarr on Wednesday for his book

The most secret memory of men.

 President Macky Sall hailed a "

beautiful consecration which illustrates the tradition of excellence of Senegalese men and women of letters


A prize that is also the pride of the Association of Writers of Senegal.


Read more

With our correspondent in Dakar,

Charlotte Idrac

Coincidence: at the time of the award ceremony, the members of the Senegalese Writers Association were right together to prepare for the International Day of the African Writer, which will be celebrated on Sunday.

Alioune Badara Bèye is the president of the Association. For him, Mohammed Mbougar Sarr has dared to tackle delicate subjects in his works. "

Whether it is power, whether it is religion, whether it is homosexuality ... It is someone who approaches all these subjects with great ease," he


It is a young person who comes to discover a new writing 


Daring, renewal, by the one who was a brilliant student recalls the author and director Pape Faye.

 He's young, it's true.

He had already won the first prize in philosophy, history and geography in the general competition ... Very early on, he was decorated and elevated to the rank of national knight of the order of merit by the President of the Republic.


►Also read: Mohamed Mbougar Sarr wins the Goncourt prize with his novel “The most secret memory of men”

And it is a source of pride for Senegal but also for all of Africa according to Mamadou Camara, also a member of the Association of Writers.

 I have read some of his previous novels.

It's still quite a daring and poetic style too.

This is a good thing, especially for young Senegalese literature 

, ”he says.

Senegalese literature already rewarded quite recently with the American Neustadt Prize awarded to the writer Boubacar Boris Diop.

President Macky Sall said he was "

proud of this beautiful consecration

", which illustrates " 

the tradition of excellence of Senegalese men and women of letters


It is a source of pride for our country and for the entire continent.

Alioune Badara Bèye, playwright and president of the Senegalese Writers Association

In Dakar, Mohammed Mbougar Sarr's book sells like hot cakes

At the Quatre Vents bookstore in Dakar, the book sold like hot cakes as soon as the news broke.

We were robbed, it really sold out in less than ten or fifteen minutes 


We had to fetch additional copies from the reserve.

Joséphine Goudiaby, head of department, has just placed a pile of The most secret memory of men prominently in the bookstore.

 Long before that, we were selling it.

Since we received the book in September, we have sold over a hundred books,

 ”she explains.

The book attracts all types of readers, according to the bookseller.

El Hadj Mamadou Thiam, 66, has never read a book by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr but he knew him by name.


It made me very happy, first of all because he's a Senegalese, but also because he's one of my cadets at the Saint-Louis military prison.

My son also went to this school so as soon as I heard the news, I rushed here 


El Hadj Thiam finally bought two copies, for himself and his children, at 11,000 FCFA each - just under 17 euros.

For Cécilia, Mohammed Mbougar Sarr embodies the renewal of African literature.

I discovered it a year or two years ago with" De pure men "which somewhat reflects certain limits of Senegalese society through homosexuality,

 " says the young woman.


Receive all international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Culture Africa

  • Culture

  • Literature

  • Senegal