The French Embassy
972 Fifth Avenue
New York
April 3, 2019

I had pleasure of being invited to read a excerpt from Small Country by Gaël Faye, one of the five finalists for the prize. Translated by Sarah Ardizzone

In 1992, ten-year-old Gabriel finds life in his Burundi neighborhood to be close to paradise. He and his friends enjoy days of laughter and adventure, but little do they know that their peaceful existence will be transformed when Burundi and Rwanda enter a tumultuous period of civil war and genocide.

Beautifully written and heartfelt without ever being sentimental, Small Country is a magnificent debut novel that tells of a loss of innocence through the eyes of a child.

The Albertine Prize, co-presented by Van Cleef & Arpels and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, recognizes American readers’ favorite work of contemporary Francophone fiction that has been translated into English and published in the US within the preceding calendar year.

The selection committee is composed of the Albertine Prize Honorary Chairs—acclaimed author and translator Lydia Davis and French literary critic and TV and radio host François Busnel—along with the staff of the Albertine bookstore, and the Book Department of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Readers will be invited to vote between April 3rd, 2019 and April 30th, 2019. A $10,000 prize will be split between the author ($8000) and translator ($2000) of the winning title at a ceremony held on June 5th at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.