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Beyond the Sea, published as Au Delà de la Mer by Albin Michel in France, has won the 2022 Prix Gens de Mer, a prize dedicated entirely to maritime fiction and non-fiction.

The prize, awarded as part of the Etonnant Voyager literary festival, took place on board a boat on the quays of Saint-Malo. For the first time in 17 editions of the prize, the book was chosen unanimously by the jury.

Paul Lynch said: "I am thrilled to learn that my novel BEYOND THE SEA has won France's Prix Gens de Mer, but it should be said that my translator, Marina Boraso, is the true winner of this award as these are her words on the page. Without translators, who are poorly paid, and the work of Sinéad MacAodha and Literature Ireland which provides grants, Irish writers would have no voice beyond the English language. I feel very fortunate to have Marina translate my work".

The jury was made up of personalities from the literary and maritime world in France:

  • Michèle Polak , antiquarian bookseller, president of the 2021 jury

  • Isabelle Autissier , navigator, journalist, writer, 2006 winner

  • Alain Hugues , navigator, shipyard manager, author

  • Jean-Michel Le Boulanger , teacher, writer, President of Etonnants Voyageurs;

  • Nono , alias Joël Auvin, professor, author, cartoonist;

  • Patrick Soisson , from the Académie de Marine, President of the Compagnie des Pêches

  • Benoît Heimermann , publisher, author, winner 2019

  • Philippe Joubin , author, representing Groupe Ouest-France, media partner

  • Loïc Josse , author, former bookseller, prize secretary

The Stinging Fly's Literary Lecture, commissioned as part of the Bray Literary Festival, has been given this year by Paul Lynch. The talk, "The Dream That Wakes You Up" is an examination of creativity and its many guises. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the festival took place online this year. The video can be watched below. You can also read the essay in full at The Stinging Fly here.

From the lecture: "Aristotle once said that “happiness is to live in harmony with one’s daimon”, and this idea of harmony between the self and one’s creativity, of learning to listen to the inner voice that speaks for the deepest self, is what I want to explore in this lecture. For to live in harmony with one’s daimon is no easy thing, and is perhaps the source of greatest frustration and obstacle to the writer."

Grace has won the 2020 Ireland Francophonie Ambassadors’ Literary Award. Created in 2016 by the 26 embassies of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) represented in Ireland, the Prix Littéraire des Ambassadeurs de la Francophonie en Irlande –  Ireland Francophonie Ambassadors’ Literary Award aims to highlight the role of literary French in transmitting the values of La Francophonie. This prize is awarded to an Irish writer recently translated into French, in partnership with Literature Ireland, the national organization for the international promotion of Irish literature, and the Alliance Française de Dublin.

In a speech, Paul thanked his French translator Marina Boraso and said that "it is the spell-work of translation that allows us to leap from us to other, to enter fully into that alien culture as easily as though we were passing through our own".

The Jury is constituted of the 26 Ambassadors of following countries, all member of the International Organisation of La Francophonie: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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