Algarve writer Lídia Jorge nominated for the Femina Prize with “Misericordia”

Winner will be announced on November 6th

Algarve writer Lídia Jorge is nominated for the 2023 Femina Prize, with her most recent novel, “Misericórdia”, being the only Portuguese among the 17 candidates in the category of best foreign novel published in France, the organization announced today.

The Femina Prize jury, made up only of women, met on Tuesday, September 12th, at the Closerie des Lilas, in Paris, and selected 16 French and 17 foreign novels, candidates for the award that opens the Autumn season of literary awards in France.

This is still the first selection of candidates, with the publication of the 'shortlist' scheduled for October 24th, from which the winner of the award will emerge, to be announced on November 6th.

Lídia Jorge competes with “Misericórdia”, translated into French by Elisabeth Monteiro Rodrigues and published by Métailié.

Also in Portuguese, Brazilian writer Patrícia Melo competes with the novel “Celles qu'on tue” (“Stacked Women”), translated by Élodie Dupau.

The other 15 candidates for the prize in the foreign novel category include names such as Hernan Diaz, with “Trust”, Paolo Giordano, with “Tasmania”, Han Kang, with “Impossibles adieux”, Maggy O'Farrell, with “Le Portrait de mariage ”, Joyce Maynard, with “L'Hôtel des oiseaux”, and Louise Erdrich, with “La Sentence”.

Nina Allan (“Conquest”), Hila Blum (“Comment aimer sa file”), Emma Cline (“L'Invitée”), Tom Crewe (“La Vie nouvelle”), Lucy Fricke (“La Diplomate”), Mikolaj Grynberg (“Je voudrais leur demander pardon, mais ils ne sont plus là”), Aleksandar Hemon (“Un monde de ciel et de terre”), Cécile Pin (“Les Âmes errantes”) and Robert Seethaler (“Le Café sans nom” ) complete the list.

The novel “Misericordia” has stood out in the French book market, having already won the Prize for Best Lusophone Book published in France, awarded by the editors of the literary magazine Transfuge.

According to Dom Quixote, which published the book in Portugal in 2022, this novel «has been very well received by critics, who have already included it among the main highlights of the book. return French».

“Misericordia” was written by Lídia Jorge, because her mother, admitted to an institution for the elderly in the Algarve, asked her several times to write a book with that title.

The story takes place between April 2019 and April 2020, the date of the death of the author's mother, victim of Covid-19.

«My mother asked me several times to write a book called 'Mercy', because she thought there was a misunderstanding, in the treatment of people, she thought that people tried to be loved, but didn't understand them. She asked me to write a book called 'misericórdia', so that we would have compassion for people and treat them as if they were people in the fullness of life", revealed the author in an interview with the Lusa agency, at the time of the novel's publication.

According to the writer, this is not a “morbid” book and her writing did not give rise to feelings of sadness or pain. Rather, it is a «book about the splendor of life that happens when people are about to leave», about the «magnificent acts of resistance that people have at the end of their lives».

“Misericordia” won the 2022 Grand Prize for Romance and Soap Opera from the Portuguese Writers Association (APE).

Last year, the Femina prize for foreign novel published in France went to British author Rachel Cusk for “La Dépendance”, by Gallimard (a book published in Portugal by Relógio d'Água as “Segunda casa”).

The main prize was awarded to French artist and novelist Claudie Hunzinger, for “Un chien à ma table”, a novel published by Grasset.

As for the prize for the essay category, it was won by historian Annette Wieviorka, with the work “Tombeaux. Autobiographie de ma famille”, edited by Seuil.

This year, the announcement of the candidates for the Femina Prize in this essay category is scheduled for October 3rd.