Yanick Lahens from Haiti wins France's Femina literary prize

Acclaimed novelist Yanick Lahens was honored recently with a very prestigious award. The prize was for her work on the much-loved "Bain de lune", and the award itself was for the Femina Prize. The honor holds special weight seeing as the recipient is a Haitian born writer, and her taking home the award given by a jury made up entirely of female judges is a huge feat.


Her novel, "Bain de lune", is a stirring epic novel that focuses on a Haitian family and the challenges they face. The Femina jury made a statement through their spokeswoman, Christine Jordis, saying that Lahens had a big capacity for storytelling. Jordis described how the author wrote on her long-dead ancestors and their influence on those now living. As such, according to Jordis, Lahens was able to bring people out of their present-day lives and transplant them in the lush world created by her imagination.

Born in 1953 in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, Lahens had all the right ingredients for Haitian literary greatness early on. She would become a well-known writer on the local scene and was also active in events of a cultural and social aspect within the country. Of her win, Lahens described her joy and said that her prize was proof positive that the culture of her country was a viable one, and it also shows the perseverance of the Haitian spirit.

Runner-up for the award was Isreali Zeruya Shalev, whose foreign-language novel "The Remains of Love" tells the story of an aging mother who looks back on her life and that of her two children who she loved disproportionately.

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