Prix Femina des lycéens for Éric Chacour

Éric Chacour has been awarded the Prix Femina des lycéens for his first novel, Ce que je sais de toi. The book was published in January by Alto in Canada and in August by Philippe Rey in France. It tells the story of a French-speaking Egyptian doctor who discovers his homosexuality and emigrates to Montreal.

Summary: "Tarek, a young Syrian-Lebanese doctor, has a well-ordered life until he opens a clinic in the deprived Moqattam neighbourhood. A friendship that is as surprising as it is welcome soon links him with a local resident, Ali, whom he takes under his wing. The relationship develops in a fluid and sensual way, shaking the certainties of the young middle-class man, at odds with his family and his environment. Lies, separations, exile, guilt and relentless downfalls follow one another, disregarding chronology and creating a fresco in which the stories intertwine and the voices merge."

"Above all, this is a love story, the story of two people who were never meant to meet and never should have parted. I wanted people to believe in this happily married man who falls head over heels in love with a young zabbâl from Moqattam. I hoped that readers would come with me to the car where a first kiss would be exchanged, that this kiss would seem as obvious as if they had hoped for it themselves. That was more important to me than any quest for literary originality. - Eric Chacour for OLJ. Translated with (free version)