Essay Prize and Novel Prize France Télévisions 2024

It’s Sophie Divry, for Fantastic love story (Seuil), which this year won the France Télévisions Roman Prize, while the Essay Prize was awarded to Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse, for The convoy (Flammarion). These two prizes were awarded by a jury of 22 readers from the four corners of France, following debates moderated by Augustin Trapenard, new president of the France Télévisions literary prizes.

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Sophie Divry and Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse 2024 laureates.

Twenty-two readers recruited from the community of members of the Club Fans de Culture (11 for the Essay Prize and 11 others for the Novel Prize), gathered at France Télévisions to deliberate, vote and elect their winners.

At the end of generous and passionate exchanges, their votes fell on two titles:

France Télévisions Essay Prize 2024:

Beata Umubyeyi Mayor, The convoy (Flammarion)

The Convoy, by Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse

“It took fifteen years of uncertain progress, an investigation carried out on the confines of faded memories, to find an image on which I hoped to appear, then to look for my companions in flight. Fifteen years to finally allow myself to write this story. Mine and through it, because it is indeed a question of reinscribing myself in a collective, ours, the history of the children of the convoys. »
On June 18, 1994, a few weeks before the end of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse, then a teenager, had her life saved thanks to a Swiss humanitarian convoy. Thirteen years after the events, she contacted the BBC team who filmed and photographed this convoy. Then begins a fierce investigation (between Rwanda, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Italy and South Africa) to reconstruct the events with witnesses still alive: survivors, humanitarians, journalists. The Tutsi genocide, like other African historical facts, was mainly told to the world through Western images and interpretations, sometimes making the victims extras in their own story. Nourished by reflections on the act of bearing witness and the value of traces, between archival research and self-writing, The convoy is a sober and moving book: it offers an essential contribution to the reappropriation and transmission of this collective memory.

France Télévisions Novel Prize 2024:

Sophie DIVRY, Fantastic love story (Threshold)

Fantastic love story, Sophie Divry

Fantastic love story, Sophie Divry

Bastien, a labor inspector in Lyon, is called upon to investigate an accident: a worker employed in a waste treatment factory was crushed to death in a compactor. Maïa, a science journalist, goes to Cern, the prestigious nuclear research center in Geneva, to write an article on the scintillator crystal, a new material whose properties disconcert its inventors. Bastien learns that the accident was actually a homicide. Maïa discovers that the experiment has gone wrong. His aunt, a physicist in the major Swiss institution, asks him to help her get rid of this crystal which has become toxic. This addictive novel which borrows from the codes of the series and the thriller is also a love story. An unexpected meeting between a man, vaguely Catholic and somewhat alcoholic, and a woman, orphaned and proud, who has built her independence into a wall.

The prize-giving

The awards ceremony, May 29, 2024.

The awards ceremony, with from left to right: Delphine Ernotte Cunci, Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse, Sophie Divry and Augustin Trapenard.

Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse and Sophie Divry succeed Minh Tran Huy for the 2023 France Télévisions Essay Prize with A child without history (Actes Sud) and Maria Larrea for the France Télévisions Roman Prize 2023 with People from Bilbao are born wherever they want (Grasset).


Created in 1995, these prizes reward the authors of works published in French in recent literary news. A jury made up of journalists specializing in literature on our broadcasts (Sarah Briand, Olivia de Lamberterie, Ines de La Motte Saint Pierre, Anne-Marie Revol And Augustin Trapenard) had previously made a selection composed of six essays and six novels.

France Télévisions Trial Prize Selection:

Nathacha Appanah, The faded memory (Mercury of France); Nina Bouraoui, Nobleman (JC Lattès); Bastien François, Find Estelle Moufflarge (Gallimard); Hélène Frappat, Gaslighting or the art of silencing women (The Observatory); Sonia Kronlund, The man with a thousand faces (Grasset)

France Télévisions Novel Prize Selection:

Marion Fayolle, From the same wood (Gallimard); Joseph Incardona, Stella and America (Finitude); Hervé Le Corre, Who will live after us (Shorelines); Camille De Peretti, The Unknown Portrait (Calmann-Levy); Claire Vesin, White (The Book Factory)

To find out more about the France Télévisions Literary Prize readers’ jury, click here.

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