Helen MacDonald and Samar Yazbek awarded Best Foreign Book 2016 Awards

Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg


For its 2016 edition, the Sofitel Award for Best Foreign Book went to Helen MacDonald for her novel “M as Mabel” (translated by Marie-Anne de Béru, Fleuve) and the Syrian Samar Yazbek for her essay “The Gates of Void” (translated by Rania Samara, La Cosmopolite/Stock). Several times rewarded since its release in 2014,”M for Mabel” has also been cited in the recommendations for reading by outgoing U. S. President Barack Obama. The third book by British novelist Helen MacDonald, the novel recounts how the author embarked on the art of falconry after her father’s death, and the psychological journey of mourning. Syrian author Samar Yazbek’s “Gateways to the Void” is another long way off, showing the horrific slide of hope in her country’s civil war-stricken civil war. Over the pages, this figure of the opposition to President Bachar El-Assad, who has been forced to leave his country and has returned to it illegally several times, tells the story of the fate of these women and children who crossed paths with her and whose only voice is her. The award ceremony was held at the Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, which once again hosts this literary event founded by a group of publishers in 1948. A digital sponsor of the 2016 edition, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac mingled with the guests, accompanied by his two well-born sons Guilhem and Louis-Marie. A review of a short parenthesis, literate, just a stone’s throw from the Place de la Concorde.

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