The French Academy awarded the Grand Prix de la Francophonie to Lebanese writer Alexandre Najjar for his body of work.
The prize crowns the work of “a francophone writer who, in his country and internationally, contributed significantly to the preservation and embodiment of the French language,” the French publishing company Plon said in a statement.
Najjar is an award-winning writer and lawyer born in Beirut in 1967. He has written over 30 novels, poems, and biographies, as well as 3 plays.
His most notable works, which have been translated to different languages, include “Le Roman de Beyrouth” (The Beirut Novel), “Dictionnaire Amoureux du Liban” (Dictionary Lover of Lebanon), and the biography of Gibran Khalil Gibran.
In 2018, with his WW2 novel “Harry and Franz,” Najjar reached the finals of Interallié Prize, a prestigious annual French literary award, awarded for a novel written by a journalist.
More recently, in October, he received the Gold Medal of the French Renaissance for his body of work, which he dedicated to Beirut.
Najjar has also been the director of the literary supplement of the French-published Lebanese newspaper, L’Orient-Le Jour, since 2006.
In fact, he said in an interview with L’Orient-Le Jour on Saturday that he dedicates the Grand Prix de la Francophonie to the newspaper and the team of the L’Orient Littéraire supplement.