Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prix Goncourt winner: Syngué Sabou....

The winner of this year's Prix Goncourt was announced yesterday. The Afghan writer, Atiq Rahimi took the prize for his novel Syngué Sabou, or the Pierre de Patience. Apparently the title is derived from the Persian folktale of a stone that absorbs the distress of anyone who confides in it.

The story is about a wife who is caring for her husband who has been left brain damaged by a bullet during the fighting in a country that very much resembles Afghanistan. While she cares for him, she tells him stories of her life, not sure if he can hear her or not. The stories reflect the hardships and sacrifices they have had to make living in their country under an oppressive regime.

Atiq Rahimi was born in Kabul in 1962 but came to Paris in his 20's as an asylum seeker. He studied film making at the Sorbonne and in 2004 of film based on his book Earth and Ashes received acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. Syngué Sabour is his first book written directly in French.

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